Before deciding to buy the KitchenAid pasta attachment, I decided to try an inexpensive countertop pasta maker. I've seen a kazillion Food Network shows where chefs and wannabes whip up a batch of pasta and make it look so simple. Of course I had to give it a try. Believe it or not, it is SO simple: time consuming and messy, but very simple. If you can play with Playdough, you can make pasta.
I've tried a few recipes including the basic one that came with the pasta maker and Mario Batali's recipe found here. Whichever recipe you choose, here are a few of my tips:
- All purpose flour will work, but semolina flour works best for Italian dishes.
- DO NOT rush. You must pass each piece of pasta through the pasta press multiple times.
- If you don't have a pasta drying rack, use a cookie sheet elevated on a stock pot.
- Cook pasta in heavily salted, boiling water. It will cook in 2-4 minutes.
- Although the countertop version is another piece of equipment, it works very well.