I made pasta yesterday (king prawn, tomato, garlic, white wine sauce) and noticed that my pasta rolling machine is becoming rusty. I was surprised as I have not had it long. Well, only 10 or 12 years anyway…

We got to discussing a replacement and Mr L reminded me that we had been researching attachments for my stand mixer, a Kenwood Chef. We had faded before the final fence, having found it all too difficult.

Well, we tried again. Fundamentally, the choices are between a roller attachment that is literally a motor-driven direct replacement for the existing manual machine and  a hopper-fed extrusion attachment. This is further complicated by the fact that Kenwood offer a plastic kit that makes 6 different shapes or a better quality hopper that only makes maccheroni rigati but offers a wider range of extrusion dies as additional purchases. Each die costs more than the whole plastic kit and the purchase of the extrusion hopper and a couple of dies will cost more than we paid for the Chef itself!

I was asked to choose which I wanted – the roller or the extruder.

Well, although we use far more flat pasta than we do shapes, that’s probably due to the fact that we do not currently have a facility for making pasta shapes! I cannot assume then that a roller is exactly what we want. On the other hand, I would be bereft of ravioli, tagliatelle and lasagne if we got an extruder… but I can always roll flat pasta by hand…

After much discussion, research and analysis I reported back that there is no decision to be made. It is not an either/or situation but that any kind of a cook would want both equally.

If I cannot have both at once, I’ll have an extruder first. When we have an egg glut in the Spring I’ll make mountains of pasta for freezing. Twirly shapes and tubes and shells and…

So, I am turning to the blogworld. Got any advice for me or any experience to relate. Do you have a Kenwood mixer and one of the pasta attachments? Can you tell me what you think before I make an expensive mistake?

I think that the old roller is now fit only for polymer clay work but I do have an array of cutter attachments and ravioli hopper, so I’ll take those along next week to flog off on a sale table at the Autumn Fair.

Just to bring us back onto topic – I made Onion Baguettes to accompany the pasta yesterday. Carb overload, but delicious.

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