While in San Francisco this summer I finally purchased the Kitchenaid pasta press that I have been admiring for months. This is not to be confused with the pasta roller set, or the pasta extruder set that doubles as a meat grinder (I have this set and the meat grinder works, but the pasta part is not good at all). This is a whole new thing. It's been out for less than a year and for most of that time was only available at Williams Sonoma. Now it can be found elsewhere, including at C.A. Paradis in Ottawa, but I'm not seeing it widespread yet.
The cool thing about this gadget is that it truly can make pasta with hollow middles like macaroni, rigatoni etc. As a huge fan of homemade pasta, it was a natural that I had to have this.
I used my standard egg pasta recipe. I love this recipe as it comes from my husband's grandmother's (who passed many years ago so I never got to meet her) repertoire of recipes, which I've modified for a stand mixer. I think it is so cool as she lived on the prairies, but managed to make the most of all the resouces there. She grew such things as garlic during a time when in that area it only came in powder format at the grocery and cultivated her own poppy seeds for delicious breads and rolls. She also made her own home made pasta which my husband remembers fondly as she would lay bed sheets around the house and the three boys (this was before the other three were born) would all go to help roll and cut the strands. I think she was both old-school and ahead of her time. I wish I could have met her.
Back to the gadget. You don't have to roll the pasta, you simply drop small balls of the dough into the extruder. It does almost all of the rest by pressing it through. You do have to use the cutter to lop off the size of pasta that you want.
My first try worked out not too bad. I think I could have made my pasta bit drier, but the experiement was successful. More practice is required (I can't complain about though as I get to eat the results) - but at first blush, I'm thrilled with my new toy.
I topped with a Sunday Gravy made in the pressure cooker. The details on the Sunday Gravy will soon be posted at Smoke Under Pressure.
Pasta Dough (scalable)
4 medium eggs beaten
1 tsp oil
2 cups flour
Mix the eggs and oil together in a measuring cup or small bowl. Into the bowl of a standing mixer add the flour. Using the paddle attachment slowly add the egg/oil mixture until just mixed. If too dry add water a tsp at a time. Switch to the dough attachment and knead the dough for 5-10 minutes until smooth.
Let stand for 20 minutes (this reduces elasticity) in a covered bowl before using.