Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Homemade (Extruded) Spaghetti


My mother-in-law sent us an old pasta extruder attachment for our old KitchenAid stand mixer. The package, along with the mixer looks about as old as we are, but was in great shape and of course, I couldn't wait to get researching on a recipe to make my own extruded pasta.

I found that the recipe in the included book was the standard egg, flour, salt, oil pasta recipe one would expect to make any rolled pasta from. I have heard horror stories about how difficult extruders are to operate, clean and ultimately have success with so I really wanted to do some research before sending through an untried recipe.

Turns out there's not a lot of information on the internet on the subject. I guess it really is just that much easier to go to the store and buy spaghetti. I get it and I agree, but I cannot help but see something like this through to the end if nothing else just to have an opinion on the subject.

That being said, I found a few bits of information:

1. DO NOT use the standard egg, flour, salt, oil recipe you've seen everywhere. It won't work as well/at all (I have not tested this, but imagine it would be ok for spaghetti/linguini but bet it wouldn't be super
successful for macaroni)

2. USE SEMOLINA. You must use semolina. Look on your boxes of extruded pasta in the pantry. You should see semolina on every last one. You could do a half AP flour/half semolina recipe but I wanted to try it all semolina before changing variables.

3. USE A BINDER. This was the most confusing part. I found mention of only using water (here) and found some forum post (forgot where) that said to only use eggs. I imagine one could use a combination as well but I really didn't feel like making two or three batches to test the variables. I have kids to attend to, after all.

4. THE DOUGH MUST BE CRUMBLY. I probably saw this most on my research. If you think it's crumbly, add a bit more semolina and mix again. If it's too wet, your pasta will either collapse or stick to itself and cause a giant blob of dough you have to toss out.

So, the post from hungrycravings.com says to only use water, but I was deathly afraid of the pasta falling apart with only water as a binder so when I saw this post from fxcuisine.com that used eggs and actually mentioned ratios of weights, I decided to try it. I figured I'd have the highest chance of success using eggs vs. using only water or a combination of each.

Homemade (Extruded) Spaghetti
(from here)

2 eggs
pinch of salt
equal weight of semolina flour to the eggs & salt (+ a few tablespoons)

A mixer or food processor will make this much easier. 

==

Get your scale out and weigh the eggs and salt. I used grams for accuracy, but you don't have to.

Mine weighed 107 grams, which is 3.78 oz.


Add an equal amount of semolina. Yes, I should have zeroed it out first, but whatever. 


Mix it up in the bowl until you get a dough ball.

I could tell already that I was going to need a power tool for this. It gets dense quick.


Transfer to a mixer or food processor and get to mixing on low speed.


I didn't get the crumbly texture I was hoping for so I added a tablespoon of semolina and remixed.


Better, but still wanted a more crumbly texture so I added another tablespoon.


Finally it broke up into small chunks like I saw in pictures online. Perfect.


Get your attachment on. I doubt you'll have this one but they do make a modern one.


I had no idea how fast or slow this was going to be, so I pre-staged everything.

I got all of the dough into the hopper.


Get a sheet pan covered in flour.

Also, get a pair of scissors if your attachment doesn't have a nice little guillotine.


Turn the mixer to speed and start shoving the dough down towards the screw.


HUZZAH! It works!


I couldn't believe that it was actually working. Not falling apart and working.


I cut them off after about a foot and laid them out on a pan tossing them well with flour.

I did this better by flouring my hands and flouring up each strand as they came out of the machine.

Much better.


Keep pushing the dough into the machine. It will be hard. Keep at it.

Also, your motor may get hot.


Floured hand, floured pasta:


I ended up re-organizing them into a straighter line so they'd dry without breaking.


I was amazed how durable they felt. There wasn't much, if any, breaking of each strand.

You can cook them immediately or let them dry out a bit on a sheet pan. 


==

To cook, just boil as normal. Use salted water.


Try not to stir too much.


Taste often after about 5 minutes. They will be much more toothsome than normal pasta.


Do not overcook this pasta. Right when you feel that it is al dente, get it out of the water. I didn't overcook mine so I don't know what they would turn into. I assume they'd fall apart. Just keep a watchful eye on them and check often.

The texture and flavor of the pasta was top notch. Different and better than any boxed spaghetti I've ever had, hands down. (I ended up making Pasta all'amatriciana here)

Yes, it was more work. Yes, my mixer did not like me for making it work so hard, but the reward was completely worth the extra work.


Enjoy!

14 comments:

  1. Thanks! It's been fun playing with the attachment!

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  2. Brilliant post. I will be adapting your technique for use with the smaller of the extruding discs for my Krups meat grinder. VERY excited to see such wonderful detail and illustrative pictures for doing exactly what I am going to be doing, only with my meat grinder, not my stand mixer (I have the KitchenAid one, but no extruder attachment. Not buying one either, when I have this perfectly good meat grinder that I have literally used only once in a decade. Thank you!

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  3. Thanks! I bet it'll work very well with a meat grinder. The KitchenAid had a real hard time getting through the dough as it truly is a dense mixture. I wonder if the fact that the meat grinder is designed for the (reverse) Archimedes Screw specifically, that it'll work even better than the KitchenAid, because I assume pasta extrusion was an afterthought for them. Let me know how it works for you!

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  4. I just noticed the FXCuisine post says to use twice as much semolina weight as the egg/salt but your pasta looks like it turned out great. Seems like it's mostly just judging the texture. Great post! Thank you. I tried the KitchenAid pasta press last night but my dough was so sticky my rigatoni didn't work out great. I'll be trying again with this dough! Thanks again :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I think I was erring on the side of caution with the ratios, as one can always add a bit more semolina and it's much harder adding an arbitrary amount of egg. The goal though, like you said, is all about getting that crumbly texture before extruding it.

      If you can get it to work, I cannot stress enough how GOOD it is. It's worth some trial and error!

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  5. So So SOOOO glad to find your post!! I have been in a battle for a couple hours over this extruder my mother sent me. First I have never made home made pasta. Second I have never used this ancient thing and all I could find was video of the newer hoppers. But I am old hat in the kitchen and thought, I can whip this out NO PROBLEMO!! uh, ya... Anyway, THANK YOU! It is my hubby's big 5-0 tomorrow and he wants his usual favorite spaghetti for dinner. I wanted to suprise him with fresh made pasta! Well, now maybe I can. I will admit I have dried stuff in case of emergency standing by! Wish me luck! With your instructions I am feeling pretty confident!

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    Replies
    1. That sounds like a wonderful surprise! I've said it before but this pasta really is amazing. It's also fairly forgiving, so don't sweat it too much! Just let the mixer do it's thing and keep constant pressure on the hopper so there are no gaps in the pasta as it's being extruded. It goes pretty slowly so you'll have plenty of time to flour each strand up and lay them out.

      I'm sure it'll turn out fine, hope you have a great evening!

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  6. I'm going to try your method soon. I have an 1990's KA mixer with the old pasta plates you received. My spaghetti looked great but was difficult to separate and clumped up with the recipe I used. Yours looks great!

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  7. Thanks for taking the time to post all those great step by step pictures. I am enjoying your recipes very much. I have always been interested in making my own noodles but I don't own the equipment you are using in this process but find it interesting just the same. I can almost taste those noodles! Thanks again.

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    Replies
    1. You can still make noodles, just not extruded noodles, by hand very easily! No tools other than a rolling pin and a knife are needed! I posted on this a while back here: (http://sahdcooks.blogspot.com/2011/05/fresh-pasta-without-machine.html) Either way, thanks for the comment!

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  8. Thank you SO much for this! I made Tortellini today and ran out of steam after 3 hours of making...and had dough leftover, so I put on the extruder for my new KA and ended up with VERY clumpy messes of spaghetti! I KNEW there had to be a way to separate them but trying to do it manually, all I was doing was stretching them out and breaking them. I have some fine semolina that I bought for semolina pudding, so I'm going to try using that to make some pasta with. Thanks again!

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