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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Authentic Homemade Pasta (Kitchen Aid Pasta Press)

It took 15 minutes to make! (not including the resting periods)


It's alive!!!!


When I first got my Kitchen Aid pasta press, I whipped it out of the box in a frenzy and couldn't wait to produce beautiful, professional pasta at home... which as you know if you have one of these is not how it actually turned out. :)

I followed several recipes in the book to the letter and none of them turned out well. During the first several attempts, the pasta stuck together immediately upon exiting the pasta extruder. In subsequent attempts, some of them didn't come out of it at all. When I finally got some pasta that came out and didn't stick together, it was gummy and chewy and tasted awful. I mean... srsly?? What's the point if it's not going to taste amazing? Why waste all that time doing it?

I'm not making pasta because it's novel. I'm making pasta because I want something that tastes amazing. (I love to make everything from scratch, but only if it tastes better than what's in the store. Brownies, for example, I've yet to find a recipe that tastes better than the 99 cent box of brownies at the store, so I won't be spending an hour making them from scratch!)

So after many failed attempts, I retired my Kitchen Aid pasta press to the pantry of misfit appliances where I fully expected it would eventually end up in a garage sale.

Years passed before my sister-in-law showed me how to make pasta with a hand cranked roller. I loved it. She showed me how to get the right texture, how to work the dough and pass it through the machine. She's an amazing cook and I worried that after she left I'd never be able to do it again. Luckily, her instruction was stellar and I quickly became a pasta-makin' machine. Santa even brought me the Kitchen Aid pasta roller for Christmas and behold! I was steps from developing a horrible fake Italian accent.

Still though... I couldn't help but wonder why the pasta press had been such an epic failure. Encouraged, I started doing research again hoping the interwebz would finally be full of sage advice. I was wrong but did learn a few critical things that led me to pasta press nirvana.

The first discovery was that pasta with egg in it causes the pasta to be really sticky and makes it impossible to use in a pasta press. The next big discovery was that egg makes it swell very large - so your macaroni that's the perfect size coming through the machine triples when you boil it. That's some really gnarly pasta! The final piece of information that I discovered is that the extruder actually kneads the dough as it's passing through so it has to be extremely dry but evenly hydrated.

Armed with this knowledge and some good old fashioned determination, I was able to pull together the correct ratio for making delicious pasta in the Kitchen Aid pasta press. It works perfectly in the pasta press time after time, never sticks together, and the texture is authentically Italian.

Finally! An easy recipe you can use for the pasta press to quickly whip out pasta for a casual weeknight dinner without making a huge floury mess.


This recipe is specifically for using a pasta press. If you're looking for a recipe that works great with a roller or by hand - try this one: Authentic homemade pasta (roller)

* Note that with the pasta extruder, you cannot simply add more water or flour so it is important to weigh your ingredients.

Ingredients: 
  • 7 oz semolina flour (I use Bob's Red Mill brand)
  • 3 oz King Arthur all purpose flour (other flours will have different protein contents)
  • 4 oz water at room temperature (or slightly warm)
  • no oil or salt!
Directions:
  1. Put flours in food processor and pulse several times to mix well.
  2. Pour water around the bowl of food processor trying to evenly distribute it.
    
    Pour the water evenly around the mixed flours
  3. Pulse 10 or 11 times until well mixed. The mixture will appear crumbly, it will not form a dough ball.
    
    It will look like a very dry crumbly mass

    
    Even though it won't form a normal dough ball,
    it will stick together
  4. Wrap in plastic wrap (or put in a Ziplock bag) and let sit for at least 30 minutes at room temperature. If you want to use the dough later, you can leave it longer or can refrigerate for several days. Just make sure to let it come to room temperature for an hour before using. After the dough has rested, it will stick together just fine. Do  not skip this resting step!!!!
  5. Place a floured tray underneath the pasta attachment for the pieces to land on.
  6. Turn the mixer on speed 2. Tear off a walnut sized piece and drop it into the hopper. Wait... patiently. It will begin kneading the dough and will take about 2 minutes for it to fully knead and begin working through the extruder. (Don't be tempted to go faster, the slow speed gives the pasta a little bit of time to dry before cutting)
    
    Drop only a walnut sized piece in
  7. Let the pasta get to the desired length and then cut it using the cutter. (Only pass it one direction, then wait for another cutting to go the opposite direction.)
    
    It's alive!!!!
  8. After the pieces drop off, shake the floured tray to coat them in flour and move them out of the way. (Do not let pieces land on top of each other if making tube pasta as it will cause them to collapse.)
    
    Don't by shy with the flour, it'll all wash off later
  9. Let dry for at least 30 minutes before trying to cook. (If you make extras, you can freeze them on the tray then move to a Ziplock bag for several months.)
  10. Bring 8 cups and 2 tbsp of water to a simmer.
  11. Gently toss the dried pasta back and forth in your hand to get off excess flour before dropping into water (there will still be a lot of flour on them.)
    
    If you want to shake off excess flour,
    make sure the pasta is dried really well first
  12. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and serve.
    
    It took 15 minutes to make! (not including the resting periods)
I  hope you enjoy! Let me know if you have any comments or questions.

6 comments:

  1. I was about to throw away my pasta press when I found this posting. This is the first recipe that's worked for me and it came out great.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You don't salt the water either? How come?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the 2 Tbsp of water is supposed to be "salt"

      Delete
  3. I agree. This recipe is the best I have tried for the KitchenAide pasta press. Thank you. I was about to give up on my press too after no success with egg based recipes. The dough is not super flavourful but it goes through the press perfectly (except for Fusilli which I suspect has to be hand twisted to get the shape right).
    I used 00 flour because I couldn't find King Arthur.
    Any suggestion about what could be added to the water to give it a bit more flavour?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Instead of using flour to coat the tray I use corn meal. It makes it easier to handle and the corn meal comes off the dried pasta easily without adding any starch to the pasta (or boiling water). I freeze the pasta and the corn meal helps keep the pasta separated.

    ReplyDelete