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Does anyone make their own pasta?

 
 
Mon 28 Jan, 2013 09:32 am
Mo has been making gnocchis lately and he does a really good job with it. Now he's wanting to expand into other types of pastas so I've been looking at pasta cutters.

The reviews and prices are all over the map. He would need something sturdy, something that could handle some light abuse, it needs to be easy to clean (dishwasher safe?), and hand crank is fine (and probably more fun anyway).

Do any of the A2K cooks have any experience with these cutters? Do any particular brands stand out?

Thanks for the help!
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Type: Question • Score: 12 • Views: 6,759 • Replies: 73
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ossobuco
 
  2  
Mon 28 Jan, 2013 09:37 am
@boomerang,
I have a Marcato pasta macchina - it's made in Italy, company seems to be Atlas - and I probably bought it at an italian market in LA. Very happy with it.
Dishwasher? It doesn't really need washing - brush it off or soft sponge if it seems to. I've never had the pasta cling to it. (I suppose there's always a first time).
boomerang
 
  1  
Mon 28 Jan, 2013 09:44 am
@ossobuco,
Thanks!

I was looking at those this morning. The reviews are good and the price is reasonable. It also looks like there are lots of attachments available.

Is it pretty heavy? I see that it has a clamp to attach it to the counter but I worry about wobbling and accidents and such....

Doesn't need washing!? That sounds amazing. When Mo make gnocchi our kitchen is absolutely destroyed.

ossobuco
 
  2  
Mon 28 Jan, 2013 09:55 am
@boomerang,
It's very well made, definitely heavy (feels good and solid). The clamp is excellent. I had one attachment come with it but I suppose you can get more.

I make gnocchi too... smiles.

There are all sorts of recipes out there, but it's basically easy, once you try it out, a matter of feeding the dough into the slot, using the crank, and then changing the dial that makes the pasta thinner each time (I turn it gradually from 1 to 6, so that's 6 feeds).
I do have a drying rack that I bought and never use - my italian teacher taught us, and she had us put the strands on plastic hangers, which works fine but I end up have hangers with pasta in odd places..

You can use this to make ravioli pasta and to make potstickers (I've been playing with that) - lots of fun.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Mon 28 Jan, 2013 10:01 am
@ossobuco,
On the counter and the clamp, I think there's no problem unless the counter overhang is less than 3/4 inch. Or you can use a table..
boomerang
 
  1  
Mon 28 Jan, 2013 10:07 am
@ossobuco,
I was trying to think up other uses -- pot stickers is a great idea.

Pizzas might be fun -- odd shaped pizza but pizza.

What else? Mini tart shells?

He's surprisingly good at making gnocchi. I thought he'd get bored with it but he sticks it out from start to finish. I think he'd make them every night if I'd let him get away with it. He made some last night and was upset that I hadn't yet run out to buy truffle oil to finish them up with! (That's how to do it at his favorite restaurant.) He's turning into quite the little cook!
boomerang
 
  1  
Mon 28 Jan, 2013 10:08 am
@ossobuco,
Good to know.

I have designed a table that I'm just waiting on Mr. B to put together for me. I'll make sure that there is a good place to clamp on to.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Mon 28 Jan, 2013 10:18 am
@ossobuco,
On further thought, an inch overhang seems better.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Mon 28 Jan, 2013 10:20 am
@boomerang,
I've got a web file of a lot of dumpling recipes - so many countries' foods, so little time. Not all dumplings would work, but there are others out there that are similar to pot stickers and ravioli (and similar italian items like tortellini/tortelloni). Maybe empanadas..
boomerang
 
  1  
Mon 28 Jan, 2013 10:23 am
@ossobuco,
Thanks! I'll keep that in mind. What about thickness?

I'm having him make the table top from marble so I can use it for an additional prep surface. I can be pretty specific on how it's all put together. Our kitchen is so tiny that every little bit of usable surface helps. It doesn't help that the countertops are this terrible 1" tile -- it's impossible to roll anything out on it, or knead anything on it or really do anything on it.
boomerang
 
  1  
Mon 28 Jan, 2013 10:25 am
@ossobuco,
Oh do share!
ossobuco
 
  1  
Mon 28 Jan, 2013 10:37 am
@boomerang,
Well, there's a screw device for tightening the clamp and there seems plenty of room on that. My cheesy formica like counter is 1 1/4" thick, and that works. I used to use it on a table though, and I thought that was thicker -- but I just went and measured it (taken apart, in the garage) and that's 1 1/4" too. With heavy marble though, it probably could be less thick and work.

Hmmm. I might get the clamp in hand before cutting the marble to see what you like re overhang and how far the clamp end goes into the Marcato..

Dammit, now I want to bring that table in the house..
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Mon 28 Jan, 2013 10:39 am
@boomerang,
I will, later today.. (time for breakfast)
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Mon 28 Jan, 2013 10:51 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
Does anyone make their own pasta?

Trick question! Pasta is not made, it's grown on spaghetti trees. Here's a BBC documentary prove it:


Setanta
 
  1  
Mon 28 Jan, 2013 11:00 am
I love that one, one of the greatest April first broadcasts ever.

Boom, my grandmother used to roll out her noodle (pasta) dough, and when it had dried enough not to stick to itself, she would lightly dust it with flour, then roll it up like a scroll. She would then cut thin strips off, which became the noodles. No expensive cutter needed.
farmerman
 
  1  
Mon 28 Jan, 2013 11:41 am
@Setanta,
my mom had one of those really fancy pasta machines. She used it like 3 times and then stored it away. She gave it to us about 20 years ago and two years ago we sold it at an auction.
0 Replies
 
Joe Nation
 
  1  
Mon 28 Jan, 2013 11:42 am
we made pasta when we were hippies. Whole wheat flour, egg yolks.....lots of rolling it thin and then drying....
Sauce made it taste less like cardboard and more like cardboard and tomatoes.

We had no machine.

Joe(with the whole wheat, it wouldn't have made any difference.)Nation
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Mon 28 Jan, 2013 11:51 am
@boomerang,
crackers
ossobuco
 
  1  
Mon 28 Jan, 2013 11:52 am
@ehBeth,
that's true..
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Mon 28 Jan, 2013 11:58 am
I leaned a trick making bread and pasta with whole wheat flour so that it doesn't taste like cardboard. Sift the flour into a bowl, then turn the sifter upside down over another bowl, tapping it on the side so that the bran sifts out into that second bowl. Then sift the already sifted flour when you make your dough, and put the bran back while it's still liquid (about half the flour). The flour tends to clump up around the bran, otherwise, and it doesn't "work" in the dough to make the gluten. You get a good consistency whether it's bread or pasta. I've been able to make good bread and pasta with nothing but whole wheat flour.
 

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