should i buy a KA pasta/pastry attachment?
or, should i buy a stand alone pasta maker?
would be interested in pros and cons.
I've used both. I've got a hand crank one and my mom's got the KitchenAid version. I far prefer hers. The hand crank requires hand eye coordination that I apparently don't have :) The KA pasta maker is incredibly simple. To be fair, I assume any automated one would be similar, but if you've already got the stand mixer and make a decent amount of pasta, I'd spring for the attachment.
Surprised to hear you say the KA attachment has durability problems. I've had mine for at least 10 years now and it works, and looks, like new. Can't imagine what the problem could be if people are handling and cleaning it properly.
Agree with you completely on needing three hands to use the hand crank. Got the KA attachment and gave away the manual machine. Never regretted it.
Interesting. I bought an Atlas hand crank one after reading a ton of blogs about how the KA attachment disintegrates. Price was also an issue for me--you can buy an awful lot of fresh pasta for the $200 you pay for the KA attachment. I haven't had any trouble with the manual machine rolling or cutting the pasta, but it did take a couple of tries to figure out that the pasta lays away from you in the flat roller so you can put your hand underneath and catch it as the pasta comes out. Roll all your pasta flat at once, dusting with flour so it won't stick and you can lay them on top of one another. Then put the handle into the cutting hole, and lay the pasta the opposite direction, towards you so you can again reach down underneath and catch the pasta. I'm pretty happy with it, since I'm only making a couple of cups of flour at a time.
My problem is handling it after it's cut, it dries and is very fragile. I can't get it off the broomstick without shattering lots of the batch. Ideas, anyone?
I have the hand crank model and have to call on my husband for the "third hand." It got so silly one time that we ended with a pasta fight. Though we had a fabulous time, and he looked incredible with pasta hanging off his beard, I would bounce for the attachment. While it's doing it's thing, you still have two hands available to deal with it. Good Luck!