Because today is my birthday (seriously, it’s my birthday… if you want to give me presents, that’s cool), I give you two gadgets for the price of one post.
What Are They?
Pasta makers from the turn of the century
How Do They Work?
Just like our modern day, hand crank pasta makers, but dustier. The rollers at the top are changeable so you can get different shaped pasta (from flat lasagna-esque to thin linguini or spaghetti). Each one has an arm that attaches so you can roll out the pasta. I don’t keep the arms attached because I use the pasta makers as bookends in my living room. The arms are a bit unwieldy.
Do I Really Need One?
Making fresh pasta is actually pretty easy. The dough is basic and easy to whip up. If you have a pasta maker (especially if you have a stand mixer with an attachment on the front end), the rolling of the dough goes quickly. Once you have fresh-made pasta, there really is no going back to the box.
So, why don’t I make fresh pasta every week? It’s a messy process. Flour gets pretty much everywhere, you have to have a large, flat surface to roll out the pasta, and you need places for it to dry. I just don’t have the countertop space or the energy to clean up the flour mess.
But, I highly recommend making pasta at least once—just so you can taste the loveliness. If you do, my one suggestion is to use a hanging clothes dryer to dry the pasta out. (My grandmother used to put it over the backs of chairs, so I know that works as well. But then, where do you sit in the kitchen while the spaghetti airs?)
Where Can I Buy My Very Own?
The antique versions can be purchased on Ebay starting at around $20 and going up from there. A new basic, hand crank version goes for about $40 on Amazon. As you get fancier (with more rollers), the price goes up. If you have a Kitchenaid mixer, you can get the pasta roller attachment for around $70.