A marketing company recently offered me a chance to test out KitchenAid’s pasta kit. Having never made homemade pasta before, I was intrigued at trying everything out.
The pasta roller and cutter are designed to be used as attachments to KitchenAid’s stand mixers, which the company also provided me.
We used it three times with different dough recipes, and made both fettuccine and ravioli before I sat down to write this.
The KitchenAid Companions Gourmet Pasta Kit came with:
- a metal pasta roller
- a metal fettuccine cutter
- pasta server and slotted spoon
- two boxes of Ecco La Pasta flour (egg and spinach)
- little cleaning brush.
I set aside an afternoon in case the process was longer than I expected, but it turned out to be much easier than I thought.
I added water to the box of egg pasta flour (ingredients: durum, eggs, egg white) and mixed. The dough was quite crumbly as the instructions warned, but came together easily. It was kind of unclear how I was supposed to shape the dough to put through the roller, so I ended up dividing it up into rectangular pieces.
I’ve shied away from making homemade pasta before because rolling it out by hand, or cranking a manual maker seemed like a lot of work. Feeding dough through the KitchenAid roller was sooo easy. You put it through several times at the first setting, and then you keep adjusting the settings, and feeding it through to make it thinner and thinner.
Once that was done, I replaced the roller with the cutter, and voilà, out came some pretty good fettuccine. The fresh texture is so unlike dried pasta. We had it with some pork bolognese for a lovely weekend dinner.
By the way, I don’t know how cooking bloggers manage to take such beautiful photos WHILE cooking at the same time. I felt pretty frazzled trying to take photos of the dough going through, and keeping my hands clean of flour.
For the ravioli attempt, we decided to try to make the dough from scratch. I started with the basic egg pasta recipe included in the KitchenAid booklet (4 large eggs, 1 tbsp. water, 3 1/2 cups of flour, 1/2 tsp. salt) but it turned out terribly. The dough was too dry and fell apart in my hands.
I found a Tyler Florence dough recipe from the Food Network that worked very well. What a difference two tablespoons of olive oil can make! My dough was nice and pliable.
I learned to slightly stretch the end corners out as the dough went through the roller each time for more symmetrical rectangular sheets, rather than having weird rounded ends.
We got an assembly line down pat, as I made the pasta sheets and passed them onto Jason who spooned out crab and ricotta, and made oversized square ravioli, sealing them with an egg wash.
We had the ravioli with a dreamy champagne cream sauce that Jason made. Oh man, these were incredible. I don’t think I’ll ever buy pre-packaged ravioli again.
Clean-up was a snap. You let the metal attachments dry (do not immerse them in water) and then brush any bits off it with the cleaner brush that’s included.
Now that I’m comfortable using it, I know it won’t be one of those things that gathers dust in the back of the cupboard.
Overall, I found the pasta kit pretty handy. It retails for about $180 in Canada at the Bay and Home Outfitters. I’m not sure if I would buy it for myself on a regular day — a splurge treat, maybe — but boy, would it be a great present for people who have a stand mixer and love to cook.
KitchenAid also sells cutter attachments for angel hair, thick noodles, and spaghetti, as well as a ravioli maker attachment.
(Disclosure: No fees were paid for this product review and the assessments are my own unbiased opinion. I was allowed to keep the equipment that was sent for review.)