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Chris Amirault

Pasta Extruders: 2011-

26 posts in this topic

Society members Alex and Aki (twodogs) over at Ideas in Food have been displaying some remarkable pasta made with their Arcobaleno extruder. I need another kitchen gadget like I need a whole in my head, particularly one that has no price listed on the website but instead offers a "Financing" tab. But that doesn't prevent me from living vicariously from y'all.

So who's got a good extruder out there these days? Even the hand-cranked ones are in the $400 range, it seems. Any budget options for those of us who just must make bucatini at home somehow?


Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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This page has very nice reviews of the Manual Torchio, Lello 2720 & Dolly extruders:

http://www.allaboutspaghetti.com/extruderpastamaker.html

eta: I've read mixed reviews about the Kitchen Aid Pasta Extruder attachment but it might be a more affordable option to try out.


Edited by natasha1270 (log)

"The main thing to remember about Italian food is that when you put your groceries in the car, the quality of your dinner has already been decided." – Mario Batali

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What does this sentence from the website mean?

Other than cost, by the way, the reason that these machines are mostly plastic is to make them easy to wash—because there are a lot of things to wash out when using extruder type machines.

Do extruders require disassembly and cleaning regularly? You are strictly forbidden to wash most of the rollers I've seen.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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... Any budget options for those of us who just must make bucatini at home somehow?

Well, for home use, you might consider a standard Kenwood (deLonghi in the US?) mixer. Any recentish and working one - a 900 series or KM, just not the fairly ancient 700 series. Either size, Chef or Major.

Then add the AT910 pasta extruder - the UK price is ~ £100.

And the bronze die for Bucatini is then about another £30. http://www.kenwoodworld.com/en-int/Products/Kitchen-Machines/Kitchen-Machine-Attachments/AT910-012/

Kenwood are offering a cheaper mixer, Prospero, in the UK (its oddly triangular in plan view). There's a version with a different fitting to suit it, the AX910. AX and AT parts have different drive interfaces - but do take the same bronze dies.

If you want the bronze die, (and I expect you do), then you'd want to avoid the much cheaper (plastic body, plastic dies) A936 pasta extruder attachment.


"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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My understanding is yes and with most of these home extruders you will not be able to use a stiff enough dough.

I recall you are very active in the Charcuterie topic, maybe this link will interest you: http://www.ehow.com/how_7359366_use-sausage-stuffer-pasta-extruder.html


"The main thing to remember about Italian food is that when you put your groceries in the car, the quality of your dinner has already been decided." – Mario Batali

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The reality is that you can't really make extruded pasta at home that will be anything like the dry pasta you buy in the store. This is because the stuff you buy in the store has not only been extruded but then it has been dried under very controlled conditions to a very specific moisture content. I've had extruded-but-not-dried pasta made with these machines (including some of Alex and Aki's pasta at the concluding dinner to a series on aroma at Astor Center) and, while it was pretty good stuff, it was nothing like actual dry pasta and I'm not sure I found it texturally interesting enough to want an expensive machine around to make it at home.

So, that's the first thing: give up on the dream of making your own dry pasta at home with a pasta extruder. Ain't gonna happen. The rigatoni you get out of one of these machines will not be the same as the rigatoni you get out of a De Cecco box and, in my experience, won't be as good regardless of how expensive the machine may be. What you can get is extruded fresh pasta that is different from the rolled fresh pasta you're used to in terms of shape and texture (much the same way that spaghetti alla chitarra has a different texture). If you want to know what you can expect, try out some of the "fresh rigatoni" at your local gourmet shop.

If, on the other hand, you want to make fresh extruded pasta like bigoli and gargati, then I recommend a bigolaro, which is a hand-cranked pasta extruder from Venice where there is a tradition for that kind of thing. As far as the electric machines go, it's serious money to get one that will put out the kind of pressure you need and that will allow you the flexibility of doing a zillion different shapes and flavorings like Alex and Aki do with theirs.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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I've never gotten anything good to come of the KitchenAid extruder attachment, but since it is cheap, if you happen to have a bowl-lift mixer, it comes with a pair of clips to keep the bowl attached when working stiff doughs, and those clips are very handy. I don't know if you can order them separately. The extruder dies seem to require a softer dough than I think would make good pasta. Once I tried it, and it actually forced dough back into the fitting for the screw pusher, and it started extruding dough with a streak of grease in it. We just tossed that batch and made dried pasta that evening.

I also have a nice hand-cranked roller machine made by Pastalinda in the 1980s or so, and that works well.

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Do extruders require disassembly and cleaning regularly? You are strictly forbidden to wash most of the rollers I've seen.

They do. I have an electric Marcato that I found at a garage sale for about $5 a number of years ago that has served me well. When I use it, I make an abundance of pasta just to offset the amount of time I'll spend cleaning it. I have seen them on eBay ever so often simply because people get tired of them and sell them off..

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Your best bet would be to keep your eyes patiently open for one of the smaller used commercial units, like those made by La Parmigiana (they come in sizes that have a footprint as small as about 30"x30", although they do require floor space, owing to their height).

Consumer models are underdimensioned, and just don't hold up well. I got my boyfriend a Simac Pastamatic 1400, which is supposed to be a fairly good consumer model, and although the (thinnish) bronze dies extrude okay pasta, the force of the dough passing through and against the die actually caused the die to tear through the front of the retaining nut. The company replaced it, but it's a nuisance, and cleaning it is a pain, involving toothpicks and soaking (it hasn't been used in over a year, I think), and I've been urging my boyfriend to put the damn thing on eBay, and get the La Parmigiana he's been lusting after.


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
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mscioscia@egstaff.org

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As far as the electric machines go, it's serious money to get one that will put out the kind of pressure you need and that will allow you the flexibility of doing a zillion different shapes and flavorings like Alex and Aki do with theirs.

Very true. I've used hand-cranked extruders too and they're a great workout :hmmm:

With that said, I still love being able to flavor my dough and extruding different shapes.

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I have the KitchenAid KPEXTA pasta extruder and have found it a very useful tool. It certainly doesn't produce the same results as the Arcobaleno AEX18 (which costs more than 30 times the price) and you are limited to the six shapes it comes with, but it does a good job of making great pasta which you can easily flavor.

Don't expect to produce large quantities from this machine, it can easily produce enough for a main course for four people (eight with a short cool-down break), but is slow going - 20ish minutes to extrude a batch that weighs about a lb if you follow the speed setting guidelines in the manual. Also, I have noticed that with larger batches the auger does warm up a little and heats the dough slightly as it extrudes. I have not noticed a change in flavor or texture because of this, but occasionally notice slight discoloration where the pasta is more opaque than is normal because of the heating.

I think it is well worth the money as long as you ignore the recipes that come with it which generally call for far too much water. I tend to make a dough as dry as possible, so it barely holds together and get terrific results.

The picture is of a Carbonara I made using some extruded semolina and egg yolk pasta. It was dried for a couple hours and then cooked.

050%20%28Medium%29.JPG

Here is the blog post that encouraged me to get the extruder. There are some good in action and complete pasta shots.


Edited by avaserfi (log)

Andrew Vaserfirer aka avaserfi

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I also have the KitchenAid KPEXTA extruder. It works well, especially if you use the dough recipes that come with it to get a feel for how dry the dough needs to be. I also like that it is just a small attachment, it's not a big freestanding machine that I need to store. I make the penne and macaroni most often.

This is the most recent KitchenAid pasta extruder. All the ones that came before sucked, just so you know.

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I have the KitchenAid KPEXTA pasta extruder and have found it a very useful tool. It certainly doesn't produce the same results as the Arcobaleno AEX18 (which costs more than 30 times the price) and you are limited to the six shapes it comes with, but it does a good job of making great pasta which you can easily flavor.

...

Here is the blog post that encouraged me to get the extruder. There are some good in action and complete pasta shots.

So ... the encouragement to get the KA attachment ultimately owed its origin to someone else's infatuation with the bronze-die Kenwood attachment! :hmmm:

Many months ago I saw FXcuisine’s account of making macaroni from scratch and his tale of homemade casarecce, and I immediately fell in love with his gorgeous pasta extruder the idea of making extruded pasta myself.
http://fxcuisine.com/Default.asp?language=2&Display=68&resolution=low
Edited by dougal (log)

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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So ... the encouragement to get the KA attachment ultimately owed its origin to someone else's infatuation with the bronze-die Kenwood attachment! :hmmm:

I'm not sure I see the problem with this. For better or worse the KitchenAid stand mixer is the most prolific stand mixer in the United States. Certainly, the Kenwood is available, but for someone who already owns a KitchenAid it makes much more sense to purchase the KPEXTA extruder attachment rather than buying a second stand mixer solely to make extruded pasta. The Kenwood attachment is beautiful and from what I have read works very well, but I don't think the bronze version (model AX910) is widely available in the United States. I believe the only source is European importers.

As a side note: I have been doing a little research into pasta extruders. Marcato does make a manual extruder called the Regina. I have heard it works well, but is a little unwieldy compared to a motorized model. It is hard to tell, but from pictures online the Regina dies and mounting area for the dies look very similar to the KitchenAid attachment which is made in Italy. If this is true, Marcato might manufacture the KitchenAid attachment or at least make parts for it.


Andrew Vaserfirer aka avaserfi

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Funny this thread has become active because just yesterday I received a price quote for the Arcobaleno AEX18 pasta machine. I'm in British Columbia Canada: the price in US$ 4900 which includes an automatic cutting attachment, a pasta tray and two brass dies. Freight and Duty extra. The machine is over kill for the home cook but it looks very well made. I was reading some reviews on Amazon about the Kitchen Aid attachment and several people have damaged their mixer using it. I tried it twice and it is very difficult to get the right consistency of dough so it (a) goes through the dies without sticking together and (b) doesn't put a strain on the motor. Apparently you can only extrude so much dough before resting your machine. Not worth the risk of trashing my professional model Kitchen Aid. Plus, it's very slow. The Arcobaleno mixes the dough and then extrudes. Each brass die is around $170.

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Wow, that is an expensive pasta for the home. I looked on internet

Some more affordable options

 

http://www.vicentia.net/ita/prodotti/ma-30-karina-continuazione.htm

 

Then the Dolly from Monferrina

 

http://www.zanonicookingcenter.com/prodotti/Macchina_per_pasta_Dolly_

 

Finmar

http://www.zanonicookingcenter.com/prodotti/Macchina_per_pasta_fresca_MPF_1_5_KG

 

Not sure they export to North America


Edited by Franci (log)

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Yes it is pricey. They have a smaller one, the AEX10 for around $2900US.

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The AEX10 has smaller extrusion plates but the HP is 0.4 compared to 0.5 in the AEX18. I think because the AEX10 has a smaller capacity it is perhaps not intended for a higher volume use setting compared to the AEX18. Therefore, more dies to choose from. ??

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I have been looking at the arcobaleno machines to start a small farmers market pasta biz. I emailed a company that recently bought a ravioli machine from arcobaleno and they said the support is horrible and could not recommend them; probably not a good feeling when you drop over 30k on a machine. In my own experience it took arcobaleno a bit of time to get a price quote for me. It makes you wonder that if it takes over a week to get a price quote to an interested buyer then how will the support be once bought.  These of course could be isolated incidences. Does anyone have experience with arcobaleno they would like to share?

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I too waited for about a week for the initial quote but when I had questions they responded almost immediately. Decided not to get one, just too expensive for home use. Wonder what the experience is from the people at Ideas in Food who have the larger machine.

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Franci - I have two hand powered Torchio Bigolotti extruders and when I researched additional dies for it I was told that the machine you mentioned, the Dolly, used compatible dies. I ordered some great ones thinking they would fit the Torchio, including the tulip shape pasta, and bucatini. They don't fit that well and I have $600 invested in them.

If you end up getting that Dolly machine let me know. I am considering getting one just to recover my investment in the dies. It looks magical in the videos.

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