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Should I buy kitchen aid pasta attachment?

I've never made homemade pasta before but I am so excited about getting started! I have a kitchenaid mixer and was wondering what peoples thoughts were about the attachments. There is a pasta press and then there is a more traditional roller, which allows you to make spaghetti unlike the pasta press where you have more of a variety. Any thoughts? Also, does anyone have any links w information about the different types of flour one could use and why you would choose one type over another?
Thanks!

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  1. Even though I have a Kitchen Aid, I settled on the Atlas pasta machine, I love it. It is manual, but I never have any trouble with it. It is quite easy to do using two hands once you figure it out.

    http://www.amazon.com/Marcato-Atlas-W...

    1. I just took a pasta making class and bought the kitchen aid pasta set. I have the set with the roller, the fettuccine cutter and spaghetti cutter:

      http://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-KPRA...

      In the class we mostly used the atlas machines (there were one or two KA's up at the chef's counter that some people got to use) but IMO when you are one the higher/thinner settings and have a 3 or 4 foot long sheet of dough it is much easier to KA by yourself.

      Probably the only downsides to the KA as I see it are the price (you can get an atlas for less than half what the set costs for the KA) and the fact that the rollers are wider on the atlas.

      I've heard bad things about the ravioli maker for the KA so I'd stay away from it. Making raviolis by hand is not alot of fun so I bought one of these to make it easier (or you can just make tortellini since they are easier to hand form:

      http://www.amazon.com/Norpro-Ravioli-...

      Pasta really is easy to make (I wish I'd have known this years ago).

      Most people use either AP flour or semolina for pasta making (or a combination). AP flour gives you a much silkier dough. The semolina flour has a consistency more like corn meal and the resulting pasta has much more texture.

      Here is a great video that shows how quick and easy it really is to make pasta. He doesn't rest the dough he just rolls it a few times and it's ready to cut. The big time saver (both in cleanup and dough making) is the food processor to make the dough.

      http://youtu.be/-lMmUf2nqYA

      1. i was just telling a friend about this attachment last night! my exact words were:

        "while theres definitely something to be said for making it by hand or using a hand-rolled machine, i think the main thing i gained from doing it that way pre-KA attachment was an appreciation for how much more i love the attachment"

        IMO, my pastas have only gotten better due to its ease of use, and ability to add more kneading process to my pastas as i roll them (since its not as tedious with each pass). i definitely recc. them.

        6 Replies
        1. re: mattstolz

          I've never used a manual pasta roller. I've only used my KA atttachment. I really like making my own pasta - for lasagne, ravioli, tortellini, herbed pasta. I'm annoyed with my KA food processor and but there isn't a lot to the KA pasta attachment so I wouldn't expect it to break.

          If you can wait, you can get the pasta attachment on sale instead of paying full price. It will make it 'easier' to use!

          1. re: rtms

            should I get the pasta press one or the roller attachment??!

            1. re: cups123

              I own both. I use the roller attachment once every week to two weeks. Have never actually used the press. I should make a point of doing that one of these days, I guess.

              1. re: smtucker

                but the press can make the same things that the roller attachment can make, no? So in theory if I got the press I wouldn't need to get the roller? Or is the roller just better at making spaghetti?

                1. re: cups123

                  The roller is to make flat cut pastas like ravioli, linguine, etc, while the press is for extracted pastas such as spaghetti. I think that extracted pastas use a different recipe [no eggs]. So you don't need to buy both; they serve different purposes.

              2. re: cups123

                i would definitely say the roller before the extruder. you will most likely make flat pastas and spaghettis more often than extruded ones as a flat dough is more versatile (can be everything from papperdelle to spaghetti to linguine to ravioli to lasagna and can be fresh or dried.... whereas an extruded pasta is more limited to dry and whatever shape your extruder nozzle is.

          2. I recently bought this
            http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000...
            and it's been just amazing. Such an ease of use, and not having to crank the machine is worth all the extra money.
            Different types of flour will give you different tastes and textures. I would recommend getting some http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001... (Bellino Semolina Flour) and
            http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003... (Antimo Caputo Italian Superfine "00" Farina Flour), as I've had great luck with them. Good luck with your pasta, and if you want to know more about the flour types I'd be happy to help!

            10 Replies
            1. re: JVHcook

              Thanks for all the replies! Should I get a drying rack too?

              1. re: cups123

                If you don't have a lot of counter space, I bought this http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000... (Norpro Drying Rack), which I really enjoy for the low cost (you could probably make one yourself if you felt motivated). Otherwise, as long as you flour the pasta a bit and lay it out flat, it will be fine, just take up a good amount of space. Really I would say it depends on how much you plan on making pasta.

                1. re: JVHcook

                  I got the same rack..because I'm a gadget freak but as mattstolz mentions below a drying rack is not strictly necessary. You can just flour the noodles and let them dry on a sheet pan.

                  1. re: JVHcook

                    I know the copy says the rack comes apart for storage, but does it come *completely* apart, or is it just the arms that are removable? Can you remove the upright dowel from the base as well? Also, can you use the rack for lasagne sheets? I only ever see linguine or tagliatelle on the rack in the photos.

                    Drying the pasta, even just laying it out while I'm making the rest of it, is the biggest pain for me. My Manhattan kitchen is so small, I have to clean off both the dining table and the coffee table to lay out my pasta. I've looked at that rack a number of times, but just wasn't sure it would work for me.

                    1. re: JoanN

                      The upright dowel unscrews from the base. The whole thing comes in a box that's about an inch thick.

                      I'd imagine you could use it for sheets of lasagna...about the only thing you can't use it for is stuffed pasta.

                      1. re: JoanN

                        if you have a few cooling racks, another space saving option is to use those. fill one with pasta, then stack the next one on top of it, and fill it. you should be able to stack them several racks high before you need to start a new tower.
                        can also use baking trays, turning them 90 degrees with each new layer.
                        I've been watching too much Good Eats. not a fan of the unitasker haha.

                        but yes, you can use the drying rack for any flat pasta. just not extruded (not shaped extruded at least) and not filled.

                        1. re: JoanN

                          Years ago when my mom made noodles she would prop the broom handle across the backs of 2 chairs and hang the noodles from them, like clothes drying on the clothesline.
                          Come to think of it, if one already has a dowel type clothes dryer that should work pretty well too.

                          Seeing the video I am now off the fence about buying a pasta roller for my KA. I'm definitely on the YES side. :-)

                      2. re: cups123

                        a drying rack isnt totally necessary, i normally just toss mine with some semolina or flour and spread it on a baking sheet. i normally actually like to dry mine in the fridge anyways, which would mean a drying rack couldnt even be used if i wanted to

                        1. re: cups123

                          I bought a couple dowel rods ($.99) and hung them on nails in a corner. They come down when I'm not using them and saves a lot of space.

                          1. re: NonnieMuss

                            No nails method: open your upper kitchen cabinet doors. Prop the dowels across the top edges of two cabinet doors while the pasta hangs from them to dry. Or, hang the pasta on a thick coat hanger and hang the hanger on a shower curtain rod.

                      3. Really, fresh pasta is better made with an At.as/Mercato, sticking to flat/rolled shapes. Extruded tubular pasta is better purchsed dry.
                        The best extruders use brass die cut molds and powerful motors to handle semolina
                        dough drier than a kitchenaid can handle

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: malabargold

                          I just used my extruder attachment for the kitchen aid and found it to be great. Better pasta than commercial and easy to use. I used a pasta recipe I found at Leites culinaria website. Italian 00 flour, eggs some olive oil and a tiny bit of sea salt.

                          1. re: petitgateau

                            I went to williams and sonoma yesterday and they didn't have it in stock:( I'm going to try somewhere else. Now for the big question, what recipe should I use to start out? I've read countless debates about semolina vs 00 vs ap flour and I still don't know what conclusion to come to!

                            1. re: cups123

                              Even though I keep 00 flour on hand for pizza dough, I don't use it for making pasta. Perhaps I've just been overly influence by Marcella who says that pasta made from AP flour is most consistently satisfying. As for semolina, she recommends that be left to commercial pasta makers since even if you use very finely milled semolina it can be grainy and frustrating to work with.

                              Why not start with AP flour, and once you have that down to your satisfaction you can start playing around with other recipes and see what you prefer.

                              1. re: cups123

                                The attachments are on "sale" at amazon today for $129 which is about $20 lower than most places.

                                http://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-KPRA...

                          2. I have an Imperia pasta machine (http://www.amazon.com/CucinaPro-150-I...) that works great. Yes, you have to crank it by hand, but I think that gives you a little more control than an automatic machine. It's a lot cheaper too.