Product Reviews: Kitchenaid Stand Mixer and Pasta Maker Attachments
I was recently given the opportunity to test the KitchenAid Stand Mixer and Pasta Maker Attachments. Of course I said YES!
I love Kitchenaid appliances and have always wanted a stand mixer, and to be able to try out the pasta attachments too, well that was just a real treat.
I was a bit concerned though I must say. The folks who asked me to review the products have no idea of my past attempts at pasta making. I have tried twice before to make pasta by hand and the results were dismal both times – perfect elastic bands. It was so rubbery it was literally not edible.
With this history behind me I have to admit I wasn’t too sure how this attempt to make pasta with the Kitchenaid pasta maker would turn out. I had never used the machine or the attachments before. Could the Kitchenaid stand mixer really turn me into a homemade pasta maker or is it a lost cause?
This is my gorgeous mixer, except for color. Mine is almond because this gorgeous orange doesn’t go with my kitchen. Hmmm… Paint the kitchen? You can view all the colors available by clicking this link.
I read the instructions for the stand mixer first. I found that the mixer is really quite easy to set up and use. The different paddles lock in solidly and are quite easy to change. The bowl locks in as well, so the machine is very stable as you use it.
I tried a batch of plain egg pasta. This recipe, as well as several others, comes with the pasta maker attachments. The recipe called for just one tablespoon of water, but that resulted in an extremely dry dough that wouldn’t really stick together well. The tips section said to add water a bit at a time until it was the proper consistency, which I did. I ended up adding 3 more tablespoons of water.
The entire process of making the dough takes exactly 2 1/2 minutes. Very easy, although I still wasn’t sure if I had elastic bands or real pasta at this point.
The next step is to knead the dough by hand for just a minute, which I did. Then you let the ball of pasta rest covered by a tea towel for about 20 minutes. Just enough time to get a light and easy pasta sauce started.
Now to rolling out the dough. I have two separate pasta maker attachments, one to roll out sheets of dough and the other to cut it into fettucine. See them here. The attachments are extremely easy to use and just take a few seconds to attach. Simply uncover the plug that is on the front of the mixer’s “nose” and plug the attachment into it. There is a screw on the side that you tighten to make sure it is held steady.
Here is where I really learned a lot about the Kitchen Aid mixer pasta attachment. It kneads the dough for you! I divided the dough into smaller sections than they called for in the instructions because I wanted to make small test batches.
With cooking water boiling and ready, I put my first batch of pasta dough through the roller. There are several thickness levels on the machine. Per the instructions, I started at thickness level one for my fettucine, and was to gradually move to 4 or 5 (I chose 5 for a thinner pasta).
I put the pasta sheet through the roller several times, dusting it lightly with flour to keep it from sticking between rollings. Then I moved to setting 2 and rolled it several more times. Settings 3, 4 and 5 are to just be used once or so, to bring the already kneaded dough to the desired thickness.
I changed to the fettucine cutter and cut my dough. Very easy and the dough just glides through. I boiled that pasta before rolling any more and we ate it with a bit of sauce. Not bad, but just a bit elastic. I realized then that the roller attachment had been kneading the dough for me, so I really had not needed to roll it as much as I did.
For the next small batch I made, I ran the pasta dough through the roller at setting 1 about 3 times, then on setting 2 for a couple of times only. Then I inserted the dough into the roller on setting 3, setting 4, then setting 5, just once each. I cut the sheet with the fettucine cutter (I actually cut the dough in half lengthwise first as it was a long sheet of dough) and boiled the pasta. I kept testing the pasta as it boiled to determine the right cooking time. It took close to 5 minutes to cook it to the right consistency.
The result? Pretty much perfect on just the second try!
By the third small piece of dough we were eating delicious pasta and I now had a recipe and method that I knew would work perfectly each and every time.
This machine is quite wonderful. It is easy to set up and use. The roller and cutter attach very easily to the front of the machine and work very smoothly. It does take a bit of practice to roll the dough properly and I still don’t do that quite right, but the truth is the machine makes perfect pasta whether you rolled it exactly right or not. My edges were pretty raggedy, especially at first, but the cutter cuts it off nicely and the pasta looks perfect and tastes great.
I would recommend this machine highly for anyone who loves to cook. And if you think you would like to try your hand at making pasta, or are already making it by hand and wonder if the KitchenAid Stand Mixer would make it easier, my recommendation is buy one! It has literally opened up a whole new world for me, the maker of elastic bands in the past, and perfect pasta now with my new pasta maker attachments.
It took me extra time to make pasta this time because I was getting to know the machine and the process and because I stopped to cook (and eat) each batch to test it, but the whole process including resting the dough is only about 30 minutes from start to finish, and most of that time you are free to do other things while the pasta dough rests.
This machine and these attachments are amazing. I love them and will use them over and over and over again. Making pasta used to look daunting to me, and only something that expert cooks or Italian mamas would try, but now, with my Kitchen Aid pasta maker and mixer, it’s a breeze and something I will go back to often.
|I recommend this product highly. My rating? A definite 5 stars.|
And thanks to my Mom, Edna, for taking notes and keeping an eye on the pasta as it cooked. What a team!
Use your pasta maker attachments to make fettucine and get wonderful pasta sauce recipes here.