I almost laughed when I read an article about pasta makers in the 1980s – yes, we had one, but it was probably in the 1990s. My mom loves gadgets, and we’d make our own pasta. I remember those dinners fondly, though, even though whoever wrote that article is poking fun at the home pasta extruder machine. My first adult attempt, however, did not go so well, even though I used a roller.
We were given the ever-popular pasta roller and cutter attachment set for our Kitchen-Aid mixer as a Christmas gift. These seem to be most coveted among the newlywed, registry-hungry, I-don’t-care-because-it’s-a-gift-and-I-need-it crowd. Not that I belong to them, ahem. This was not on our registry. After using it, I agree that a hand-cranked one would provide much better results, be easier to use, and on top of that – cheaper.
I followed the recipe in the manual for the Kitchen-Aid roller, hoping that by abiding by the manufacturer’s instructions, I would be less likely to fail. (I deliberately did not link to the aforementioned article because it’s full of junky ads, but I found it by searching for vegan pasta recipes. In the end, I used semolina and egg as directed. Maybe next time I’ll make her eggless pasta dough.) In addition to the dough not coming out right, the biggest problem was that the roller pulled the thinnest dough through first, leaving the rest to crumble. I think the manual control of a hand-crank would help correct this defect. But then again, I’ve never used one.
Oh, and yes, you heard me say next time. As promised, I will not abandon my failed recipes. The good news is that this time we made enough pasta to have a little serving each. The rest of the dough got too dry and overworked in our experimentation, and I think the dough was too dry and not pliable enough to start with. The pasta we ate was okay, if a bit thick due to inexperience in rolling it thinly enough. We topped the pasta with grated Parmesan and jarred sauce, served with grilled eggplant and mushrooms.