I use my KitchenAid stand mixer constantly; whether I’m mixing cake batter, kneading bread, making fresh pappardelle or just whipping cream, it sits there on the counter calling out “Put me in the game, coach! I’m ready!”, and I almost always heed the call. So when KitchenAid offered to send me out one of their pasta extruder attachment to review, I was happy to accept. I’ve been wanting a way to make extruded pasta at home for years, and I suspected this would be the perfect option.
I’ve already made a couple of batches of pasta with the extruder. The first was a saffron rigatoni using a semolina dough, and the second you see above – bucatini flavored with a lot of turmeric. That’s one of the great advantages of making your own pasta: you have the opportunity to flavor the noodles with anything that intrigues you. (I’m thinking of smoked tomato powder next.)
The attachment is well made and thoughtfully designed. It couldn’t be easier to attach to the mixer, you just open the accessory cover, slide it into place and tighten down one screw. And when you are done, it comes apart for easy cleaning. It helps to let stuck-on dough simply dry over night, then you can brush it right off.
To use the attachment, you first use the mixer itself to make the dough. After choosing an extruder plate (spaghetti, bucatini, fusili, rigatoni, and large or small macaroni), you feed the dough into the top and watch as your pasta comes out the bottom. You swing the attached wire cutter across as the noodles reach your desired length. It really helps to feed the dough in very small chunks – about walnut size as the manual says. That makes the auger work a lot more efficiently.
The noodles come out quite dry to the touch; they have very little tendency to stick together, and they have a nice textured surface that helps sauce adhere.
Now I don’t want to kid you – this is not a restaurant-strength pasta extruder. It takes probably 10 or 15 minutes to make enough for four servings, and you have to stay with it to operate the cutter. It does make fresh extruded pasta available to the home cook at a really reasonable price though, and I know I’m looking forward to lots more great meals from it.
For the recipe below, you can find garlic chives (nira) at a well-stocked Asian grocery. It would also be good with scallions cut in lengthwise strips. A quick saute in butter highlights the flavor of the chives.
Turmeric Bucatini with Garlic Chives (Nira)
- 1 batch basic egg pasta dough from the KitchenAid pasta extruder manual; add 1 Tablespoon of turmeric powder to the flour
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 bunch (about 5 ounces) garlic chives (nira), hard ends trimmed
- Kosher salt
- Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Bring a large pot of well-salted to a boil. Warm serving bowls. Extrude turmeric pasta with the bucatini die using manual instructions.
- Melt the butter in your largest skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic chives and a big pinch fo salt and saute for 1 minute, until tender. Turn off heat.
- Boil the pasta until al-dente, about 4 minutes. Drain and add to the garlic chives. Turn heat under the skillet to high. Toss well, until the pasta is nicely buttered. Taste and add salt if needed. Divide the pasta among the serving plates, using tongs to twirl together the noodles and chives. Finish with grated parmesan cheese and black pepper and serve immediate.