Wednesday, January 20, 2010
KitchenAid Pasta Press: Round 1
I was recently gifted the Pasta Press attachment for KitchenAid's Stand Mixer. The Pasta Press comes packaged with six pasta plates (spaghetti, bucatini, rigatoni, fusilli, large macaroni -I find it to be fairly similar to the rigatoni, and small macaroni), a cleaning brush, a pasta pusher, and an instruction manual complete with several recipes. KitchenAid's new tool allows users to push their freshly made pasta dough through the Pasta Press' tube to the chosen pasta plate and cut the resulting pasta shape to their desired length. It also eliminates the need to dry the pasta before cooking; once the shapes are cut they can immediately be thrown into a pot of boiling water.
As revolutionary as the Pasta Press appears to be, and as excited as I was to begin gorging myself on limitless fresh pasta, the unfortunate reality is that my first attempt with the Pasta Press was not as successful as I had hoped. Round one produced a bastardized version of the fusilli I know and love, followed by a mess of rigatoni- each stuck together rather than hollow. I found the clean-up to be somewhat painful but knew what was in store after reading step 5 under the "Care and Cleaning" section in the instruction manual (yes, I am the type of person that reads a new instruction manual cover-to-cover)- "Allow remaining dough on pasta plates to dry overnight before separating. Remove completely dried dough with the cleaning brush. Use a wooden skewer or toothpick to pick out any remaining dough. Do not use metal objects or put pasta plates in the dishwasher to clean." I let a defeatist attitude momentarily get me down (I fought visions of the Pasta Press collecting dust alongside a had-to-have bread machine and yogurt maker), but ultimately resigned to take the hardships and sticky dough for what they are- minor set-backs in round one of the ongoing battle for fresh, homemade pasta. My hope is that round two ends as I envision it- with delicate and delicious pasta!
I decided to make carrot pasta dough utilizing carrots from the Union Square Farmer's Market
The fusilli didn't curl as I had anticipated
After a failed attempt at fusilli, I switched to rigatoni- once cooked they lost their hollow shape (for those that actually came out hollow to begin with)
The final dish- edible- but not as tasty as it has the potential to be
Pointless "cleaning brush" included with the Pasta Press
Dried carrot pasta dough stuck in the fusilli plate- back view
Dried carrot pasta dough stuck in the rigatoni plate- front view