Homemade Pasta — a series of tubes!

Large Macaroni in process

In our continuing quest to make more food ourselves where feasible (and fun!), I bought a(nother) pasta making attachment for our KitchenAid mixer on eBay earlier this month. This one extrudes dough into tube shapes![audio:http://cdn.regensblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Series_of_Tubes_-_Senator_Ted_Stevens.mp3]

Large Macaroni Cut

Large Macaroni with Amatriciana

    Here are some of my impressions:

  • The suggested recipes call for straight Tipo 00 flour, not a mixture of all-purpose and semolina flour, like the recipes included with our pasta roller and cutters. I imagine that has something to do with the final texture or tensile strength of strands of gluten or something like that. Anyone know for sure? And, while we’re at it — is there even a difference between Italian Tipo 00 and German Typ 405 flour? Wikipedia seems to imply there is not!
  • Preparation is bit simpler than cutting flat noodles, because there’s no need to flatten the dough first. Knead it, mostly in your mixer with the kneading hook, and a little by hand, then form into balls for extrusion. Don’t flatten them. There’s simply no need!
  • Mixer speeds are necessarily higher than for rolling and cutting flat pasta, I guess, because it takes more force to squish the dough through intricate openings than to flatten it out along an axis.
  • It’s slower — probably for the same reason as the above. Don’t be discouraged the first couple of minutes with the extruder; it takes a while for the dough to auger all the way in. Likewise, there will be more dough than I would have thought longer after adding the final ball to the hopper.
  • Cleaning will be more complicated and involved. Like the rollers, you’re never supposed to dunk the extrusion plates into water. Unlike the rollers, you pretty much have to wait overnight until the remaining dough has dried enough to brush away or pry/poke out with a toothpick.

Our “large macaroni,” as KitchenAid calls them, cooked quickly and easily and were quite tasty in Sarah’s Amatriciana sauce. I am looking forward to making our own elbow (“small”) macaroni, fusilli, and rigatoni in the near future, especially after some great pasta in Rome last weekend. Details on that are forthcoming!

7 thoughts on “Homemade Pasta — a series of tubes!”

  1. Sam

    I *love* making my own pasta. I’ve only ever made more work-intensive shapes, though. Flat lasagna noodles, as you mention, take a lot more planning and care. This attachment looks like fun!

    1. cliff1976

      Hello Sam,

      We’re getting pretty good at the flat noodles:

      • tagliatelle
      • spaghetti (not actually flat, but they need to start out in sheet form if they’re to be cut instead of extruded)
      • lasagna/pappardelle

      This attachment IS fun, and not as labor-intensive as the flat noodles. I can see us progressing into the really complex arena eventually: gnocchi, ravioli, and even pierogi. And why not? We’ve already done Chinese dumplings. Pretty much the same thing, right?

  2. Alex @ ifs ands & butts

    Wow they look like they turned out so well – I’ve always wanted to do homemade pasta!

    1. cliff1976

      Thanks Alex. What’s holding you back from making your own? Basic, readily-available ingredients, a flat work surface, a sharp knife, and a rolling pin are the bar to entry. Oh, and the time involved, but that gets smaller as you improve your technique.

  3. Mom

    I like the little cutting wire. Looks like you have tubettini. Can you go smaller to make ditalini? I love that name! You could sing it.

    Keep on researching the possibilities. We’re looking forward to them.


    1. cliff1976

      Good question! I think a lot of it is a question of terminology. The KitchenAid website says:

      spaghetti, bucatini, rigatoni, fusilli, and small or large macaroni

      I suppose the small macaroni could be cut really short into ditalini. We have lots more to try out; this was just the first variety!

  4. krishwala

    Yum! I really wish I had a kitchen aid to be able to make pasta and ice cream! For now I’ve resorted to finding a manual pasta maker, But I haven’t seen one, yet!

What's your take on it?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.