I cook, a lot. I absolutely love it. I make great bread and cakes, create my own recipes and throw lots of dinner parties for friends and family.
The one thing I have never been able to conquer is pasta. No matter how hard I try, it never comes out quite right, too thick, too thin, too moist or too dry.
For years I had tried to perfect my homemade pasta, with no real success.
My husband, bless him, knew how much my pasta making struggles hurt me, as I couldn’t even master a basic spaghetti, so he looked at some stand mixer reviews on the internet and bought me a large EuroPrep 7-quart 6 speed stand mixer. He bought this as it has pasta attachments and I always suspected that my mixing of the pasta by hand was to blame.
It turns out that this is the best present I have ever had. No more frustration in the kitchen when making pasta. I started small, making large ravioli and pasta sheets for lasagne. Then onto fettucini, and the pasta I was desperate to make correctly, spaghetti. Using the recipe that came with the machine. Mixing, refrigerating, passing through the pasta rolling and cutting attachment, then drying. Making pasta with this stand mixer, you really cannot go far wrong.
I have included my favorite stand mixer spaghetti recipe for you to use. It produces perfect pasta, every time.
You will need the following ingredients:
- 2 x cups semolina flour
- 2 x cups all purpose flour (I prefer bread flour for higher gluten)
- 2 x large eggs, well beaten
- 1 x tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 x cup cold water
Combine the semolina flour, all purpose flour, and salt in a large bowl. Using a fork, mix these ingredients together, then using a sifter, sift into another bowl. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the eggs & beat well with a fork. Add extra-virgin olive oil to the eggs and mix with a fork. Add the cold water to the egg & olive oil mixture, and mix with a fork. Pour the liquid ingredients into your mixer bowl and attach the flat beater. Add half of the sifted flour mixture, turn to speed 2 and mix for 20 seconds. Add the rest of the sifted flour mixture and mix for an additional 20 seconds.
Exchange the flat beater for the dough hook. Turn to speed 2 and knead for 2 to 3 minutes, until a dough ball is formed.
Remove dough from the bowl and hand-knead for 2 to 3 minutes. To test for the correct consistency, pinch a small amount of dough together after kneading for 2 to 3 minutes, if the dough stays together without sticking to your fingers or falling apart, it should work well. If too soft, add more flour by dusting the top of the dough and knead some more, continuing to dust the dough with flour until achieving the right consistency. If too dry, wet your hands and knead some more, continuing to wet your hands a little at a time & knead until the right consistency.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour (this step is important). Remove dough from refrigerator and let it rest for 15 minutes. Using your hands, roll it into a log, about 12 inches long. Cut log into 8 slices, then flatten each piece slightly. Spread slices out so they aren’t touching and cover with plastic wrap.
Using the widest setting and taking one piece of the flattened dough, feed through rollers. Fold dough in half & roll again. Repeat 3 more times, lightly dusting the sheet of pasta in between each rolling, if it feels the slightest bit sticky. Move adjustment knob to the dough setting and feed the dough sheet through the rollers once.
Continue to increase roller setting until desired dough thickness is reached.
Separate sheets once desired thickness is achieved with a thin towel or piece of plastic wrap dusted with flour, so the dough doesn’t dry out too much.
To cut the noodles, exchange the pasta roller sheet attachment for the cutter attachment of choice, either the fettucine cutter for wider noodles or the spaghetti cutter for spaghetti or linguine. Run each sheet through the cutter then hang to dry.
If you only ever make one investment in kitchen equipment, you need to buy a stand mixer. Not only do they assist in perfecting your pasta making but you can make cakes, bread, sauces, whipped cream etc. The machines come with some pre-settings for things like gluten free recipes and there are so many attachments, you can pretty much make any food you want. The best money we have ever spent. Thoroughly recommended.