Okay, I admit it…I was intimidated about making fresh pasta. Years ago, someone bought me a hand crank pasta press/cutter and using it was a disaster. Trying to feed the pasta through the rollers while cranking the machine caused my dough to thread in crooked, tear, jam the machine and otherwise not work. So when I saw a contestant on “Worst Cooks in America” seemingly effortlessly make pasta using a KitchenAid® Stand Mixer pasta attachment set, I knew I had to try it. And you know what? This is pasta roller/cutter set enables anyone with a KitchenAid® Stand Mixer to make delicious fresh pasta like a pro.
When the KitchenAid® Stand Mixer pasta attachment set arrived, I was surprised at how heavy the box was. When I opened it, I realized why. There are three separate, heavy duty all-metal attachments—an adjustable pasta roller to flatten and thin the pasta dough, and a fettuccine and a spaghetti cutter. (You can also order an angel hair cutter, a thick noodle cutter, and a ravioli maker.) The cutters come with a one-year replacement warranty, but they’re so well made and beefy, these are attachments you’ll have for a lifetime.
The pasta attachments also come with a small cleaning brush (you can’t immerse the attachments into water) and an easy-to-read instruction/cookbook. Following the instructions, we loosened the hub on the front of the KitchenAid® Stand Mixer in the Realfoodtraveler.com test kitchen and slipped in the pasta roller, using the attachment knob to tighten it down. Easy peasy.
Any Thickness, Multiple Recipes
The pasta roller comes with 1-8 settings. You start with setting 1 and progressively move the settings through as many settings as you want (7 and 8 are for thin angel-hair or very fine linguine). Then you can hand cut the pasta or use one of the KitchenAid cutter attachments.
The booklet also comes with five different pasta recipes—basic egg, semolina egg, light wheat, whole wheat, and spinach pasta. We opted for the basic egg pasta recipe and RFT Anne Weaver did the honors kneading the dough per the instructions. Then after allowing the pasta to rest for 20 minutes, we fed the fat brick of dough into the pasta roller attachment starting on setting 1.
The pasta attachments use the powerful KitchenAid Stand Mixer’s motor to power the roller and cutter so there was plenty of power. The dough slipped effortlessly through the rollers again and again. Every second pass through, we’d dial the roller to the next setting, making the dough become longer, wider, and thinner.
When we reached the desired thinness, we placed the sheet of pasta onto a ravioli mold we had on hand (but had never used), filled the dough pockets with a ricotta/parmesan cheese and lemon mixture. Then we laid more of the dough sheet on top, rolled over it with a rolling pin, and we had beautiful ravioli. We repeated this process with the second half of the pasta dough and made a total of 20 raviolis.
Since we had a bit of dough left over, we fed the dough through the cutter again, this time flattening and thinning it even more. Then we changed out the attachment to the fettuccine cutter and with one trip through the cutter we had a pile of soft and perfect fettuccine noodles.
We allowed both the ravioli and the fettuccine to rest a while to allow the pasta to dry (it sticks less when cooking) and then boiled both a few minutes until just al dente. We topped one half of the ravioli with marinara sauce; the other with garlic, olive oil, and crushed amaretto cookies. We served the fettuccine with brown butter and Parmesan cheese.
So how was our first foray into fresh pasta making with the KitchenAid® Stand Mixer pasta roller and cutter attachment set? Incredibly easy, fun, and delicious. Our ravioli and fettuccine came out beautifully and were so tasty we ended up eating all the pasta standing at the kitchen counter!
I can tell you two things about making fresh pasta with the KitchenAid® Stand Mixer pasta roller and cutter attachment set: 1) anyone with a KitchenAid® Stand Mixer can make great pasta with this attachment set; and 2) Since I’m no longer intimidated by making fresh pasta, I’m going to be making a lot of fresh pasta with my KitchenAid® Stand Mixer pasta roller and cutter attachment set.
And, at less than $200, the KitchenAid® Stand Mixer pasta attachment set would make a terrific gift for the cook or foodie on your list. You can buy the KitchenAid® pasta attachment set at many retail stores, including cookware stores, or online from KitchenAid, Amazon, or other online retailers.—Bobbie Hasselbring, Editor realfoodtraveler.com