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Making your own pasta

PatboyXPatboyX Registered User regular
edited April 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
I have recently decided I should start making my own pasta. And have successfully done so without any special equipment.
However, I would like to make the process a little easier by using a pasta press. I checked Amazon reviews but each one I look up has pretty bad low points - mostly that they die after a couple of uses and are cheaply made.
Since I am still pretty new to all this, I feel like I would have a hard time purchasing a $100+ dollar unit without feeling like it will last or knowing the quality.
Does anyone have any experience with a particularly good (or bad) pasta press?

"lenny bruce is not afraid..."
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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    The electric ones usually break. Manual pasta presses pretty much last forever. I've heard good things about imperia's brand.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    bowen wrote: »
    The electric ones usually break. Manual pasta presses pretty much last forever. I've heard good things about imperia's brand.

    My dad has one of those metal manual ones, it's been good for almost 20 years (I'm not sure of the brand though). Even if you're lazy, I think you can usually get an attachable motor.

    Just make sure the mechanism for anchoring it to the counter is solid. Those little clamp dealies aren't the greatest; I think they make some with the big cranked suction cups instead, haven't tried them but they seem like an improvement.

    KalTorak on
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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Yeah the gears usually strip from improper use or bad anchoring. The clamps should be good as long as you brace it while turning, lest you rip out the lever or something.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I've really liked my KitchenAid pasta attachment set for my KitchenAid mixer. They've lasted a long time.

    But... you gotta buy a $200+ mixer and buy a $60+ attachment, minimum. And that's when they're on sale. (I have the mixer because I got that in the divorce. I didn't even want it, but it was a spite item. [Hah hah, b****]. Unfortunately, I tried using it and it gave me the cooking disease, and now it gets a lot of use.)

    GungHo on
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    TheSuperWootTheSuperWoot Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    GungHo wrote: »
    I've really liked my KitchenAid pasta attachment set for my KitchenAid mixer. They've lasted a long time.

    But... you gotta buy a $200+ mixer and buy a $60+ attachment, minimum. And that's when they're on sale. (I have the mixer because I got that in the divorce. I didn't even want it, but it was a spite item. [Hah hah, b****]. Unfortunately, I tried using it and it gave me the cooking disease, and now it gets a lot of use.)

    Yeah, my mother has this attachment and it's pretty great. Plus, if you cook at all you should probably have a Kitchen Aid anyway!

    TheSuperWoot on
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    VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    GungHo wrote: »
    I've really liked my KitchenAid pasta attachment set for my KitchenAid mixer. They've lasted a long time.

    But... you gotta buy a $200+ mixer and buy a $60+ attachment, minimum. And that's when they're on sale. (I have the mixer because I got that in the divorce. I didn't even want it, but it was a spite item. [Hah hah, b****]. Unfortunately, I tried using it and it gave me the cooking disease, and now it gets a lot of use.)

    Yeah, my mother has this attachment and it's pretty great. Plus, if you cook at all you should probably have a Kitchen Aid anyway!

    A Kitchen Aid stand mixer isn't the best thing to have unless you are seriously into cooking/baking. $200 is on the low end and they're pretty big if you're cooking for one/two once in awhile. As much as I love mine I would not recommend one to everyone.

    Without knowing much else about the OP I'd suggest getting on of the metal, manual pasta makers.

    VisionOfClarity on
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    starmanbrandstarmanbrand Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Go to a restaurant supply store. Get a used metal cranking one.

    starmanbrand on
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    TheSuperWootTheSuperWoot Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    GungHo wrote: »
    I've really liked my KitchenAid pasta attachment set for my KitchenAid mixer. They've lasted a long time.

    But... you gotta buy a $200+ mixer and buy a $60+ attachment, minimum. And that's when they're on sale. (I have the mixer because I got that in the divorce. I didn't even want it, but it was a spite item. [Hah hah, b****]. Unfortunately, I tried using it and it gave me the cooking disease, and now it gets a lot of use.)

    Yeah, my mother has this attachment and it's pretty great. Plus, if you cook at all you should probably have a Kitchen Aid anyway!

    A Kitchen Aid stand mixer isn't the best thing to have unless you are seriously into cooking/baking. $200 is on the low end and they're pretty big if you're cooking for one/two once in awhile. As much as I love mine I would not recommend one to everyone.

    Without knowing much else about the OP I'd suggest getting on of the metal, manual pasta makers.

    Hehe, I know. I was being pretty facetious about how necessary they are but there's no denying that they're pretty handy if you are into cooking. If money is tight I would definitely not recommend getting one as it definitely is a luxury cooking good.

    TheSuperWoot on
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    SixSix Caches Tweets in the mainframe cyberhex Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I'll second or third the Kitchenaid attachments. I use them regularly and have never had a single problem.

    If you're interested in a recipe, here's mine, which uses a mix of semolina and all purpose flours.

    http://www.clintonhillfoodie.com/2008/02/fresh-pasta.html

    Six on
    can you feel the struggle within?
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    PatboyXPatboyX Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Kitchen Aid mixer would be wonderful to have for my life...but I may have to go ahead and wait until I get married or something to request that as a gift.

    So are the clamps really not the preferred method of holding it down? It seems like it would be much better than any other way.

    PatboyX on
    "lenny bruce is not afraid..."
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    EverywhereasignEverywhereasign Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I've got a standard manual metal one. Like this one. Have a rolling chopping block that it attaches to fairly well.

    The little rubber feet provided very little traction, the whole device would tend to pivot around the clamp point. So I started using a slightly moistened non slip pad under the machine, and a crank on the clamp really tightly to get it to stay. I haven't had a problem yet. Probably make a decent load of pasta every other month or so for the past 6 or 7 years. It still works really well.

    Everywhereasign on
    "What are you dense? Are you retarded or something? Who the hell do you think I am? I'm the goddamn Batman!"
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    GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    PatboyX wrote: »
    So are the clamps really not the preferred method of holding it down? It seems like it would be much better than any other way.
    Clamping is ok, but can really fuck up a counter top by over-clamping, especially if you're going to be Baby Huey on the crank. You really need more than one clamp. Otherwise it's going to hop around and all you're going to do is screw the clamp tighter and tighter to compensate, and... oops, there goes a few hundred dollars to re-finish your counter tops/repair the fracture.

    Part of the reason the KitchenAid works is that not only is the machine powered by the KitchenAid motor, but the mixer body is so heavy that it's going to be a stable platform.

    GungHo on
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    PatboyXPatboyX Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Is that an Imperia?

    My goal would be to one day have a nice Kitchen Aid unit for myself but I really don't see that happening anytime soon.

    PatboyX on
    "lenny bruce is not afraid..."
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    illiricaillirica Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    If you're worried about clamping too tight, you can take a couple 1/4" to 1/2" thick pieces of scrap wood (pine or something soft) and put these between the table/counter and clamp on the top and bottom. The larger surface area helps to spread out the pressure, and using a soft wood means that the clamp can bite into the soft wood a bit for a good grip without damaging your counter top.

    illirica on
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    GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    That's a good idea.

    GungHo on
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    starmanbrandstarmanbrand Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Ghetto solution-

    Ironing board with a sheet+flour over it. Double clamp that sucker down and you've got a whole lot of room to make whatever, especially raviolis. Of course we were probably making a lot more than you would be...so...a smaller...ironing board?

    @post below-
    That must be where my bud got the idea from.

    starmanbrand on
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    DarksierDarksier Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Ghetto solution-

    Ironing board with a sheet+flour over it. Double clamp that sucker down and you've got a whole lot of room to make whatever, especially raviolis. Of course we were probably making a lot more than you would be...so...a smaller...ironing board?

    That's the method I learned from Alton Brown. Works fantastically. OP should check out his video demonstrating how its done.

    Darksier on
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    BeckBeck Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Go to a restaurant supply store. Get a used metal cranking one.

    This is the best suggestion in this thread, or the alton brown method.

    Resturaunt supply stores have sick deals on all kinds of used equipment, but manual equipment is, I find, an incredible deal. No finicky, smelly, and loud motors to worry about, just give 'er a crank for a good 30 seconds and if it doesn't catch, buy it.

    Beck on
    Lucas's Franklin Badge reflected the lightning back!
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    EverywhereasignEverywhereasign Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    PatboyX wrote: »
    Is that an Imperia?

    My goal would be to one day have a nice Kitchen Aid unit for myself but I really don't see that happening anytime soon.

    Yes, and mine is too. I really love it. I used the Alton Brown method the first time I did it and loved it.

    Link

    I moved on to using my rolling chopping block. But if I only had my marble counter top, I'd be breaking out the ironing board every time.

    EDIT: For correct "Use Your Noodle II" Link

    Everywhereasign on
    "What are you dense? Are you retarded or something? Who the hell do you think I am? I'm the goddamn Batman!"
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    PatboyXPatboyX Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I'm starting to think the people who have trouble with the Imperia machines are people not following instructions. I am willing to bet they simple made the dough and sent it through the machine once on the smallest setting as a large ball.

    PatboyX on
    "lenny bruce is not afraid..."
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