I have expressed on a few occasions that I'd like a pasta machine...
I meant more of a "cheap just lets you run the dough through once to get it flatter" kind of a pasta machine. But come Christmas my hubby got me the Imperia Italian Double Cutter Pasta machine! As angry as I was that he spent money while we are in a cinch I was so happy to try it out!
The pasta machine comes in a, not so big, red box with the Imperia logo clearly visible on it just above the picture of the machine at work. I must say I was surprised when I grabbed the box (Yes I grab my gifts from people...no time to be all nice when there's goodies awaiting!) it was quite heavy. I later weighed the machine and it came to weigh about 3lb. Now this is my first pasta machine so I don't know if that's standard or not but it made me feel like 'oooh now THIS is quality' sort of thing. It looks and feels a bit beastly and not at all like a toy but a serious machine.
Mines came with two different cutters. These will cut the sheets of dough into 2mm tagliatelle & 6.5mm fettuccine.
The machine needs a tidbit of assembly. You are required to put on the handle, secure it to your work surface and put on the attachment. It takes about a minute total to do this even if its your first time.
In the package you will also find an instructional booklet with quite a number of recipes and a copious amount of adverts for all of these mouthwatering GIMMEGIMME attachments for the machine. I was amazed at the possibilities!
The pasta making itself went smooth. I followed one of the recipes and instructions in the booklet.
My only gripe is I can't clean the machine good afterwards. The bits of dough keep on sticking in between the blades and I have to wait till its all hard n dry to try n turn them out, or shake them out....or plead?!?
If anyone has a trick for how to clean this god darn thing efficiently please do let me know!!
After a brilliant first date after our baby arrived, my husband and I went on Italian cookery class! Needless to say it was fantastic! One of the highlights was learning that actually fresh pasta isn't that hard to make and is amazing versital! A few months later my husband's sister gave us this pasta maker for christmas! What a treat! Now we get to have date night revivals with fresh pasta! Perfect! We've done: angel hair, Fettuccine, Pappardelle, Brandelle, and Farfalle. The versatility is what amazes me! I'm keen to try a chocolate pasta! I would never have imagined a pasta in anything but a main! Talk about open my eyes!
Anyway, the machine itself is very good, sturdy, and robust! Easy to set up and I haven't a bad word to say about it! I do think skill is required in making the very thin pastas, but that's definitely operator problem! Though I would probably recommend really knowing what you are doing if you attempt it with wheat free! And have a good recipe! We just about survived with being able to present our wheat free friend with pasta.( after a quite last minute panic) But the end result was worth it! She'd never had fresh pasta before and was touch deeply!
I find it takes me ten minutes ti roll it thin, ten minutes to rest, and then bingo pasta de jour!
I don't expect this review to be read by many people, as making your own fresh pasta is probably viewed as a massive waste of time when dried pasta is such a great product. But I love cooking and I am the type of person who will spend ages making their own dough to make Danish pastries, rather than just opening a packet of ready-made puff pastry.
I'd never really thought about making my own pasta until I watched a demonstration by Theo Randall at the BBC Good Food Show in London. I was impressed by how easy the pasta dough was to make and how quickly Theo created tasty looking raviolis with just a few ingredients. I wrote about it on my blog and my enthusiasm was picked up by my fiancé who bought me the pasta machine as a Christmas present. What was an even bigger surprise was the signed picture he'd requested from Theo. So I've discovered a blog is a great way to drop hints for upcoming birthdays/special occasions! That is, of course, if your other half reads it and actually pays attention to what you write!
Anyway, onto the pasta machine....
My fiancé chose to buy a machine made by Imperia because Theo said that is the brand that most professional chefs use.
The machine I received is classed as a kit and it comes with a clamp and detachable handle, a star shaped ravioli tray, small wooden rolling pin and two cutting attachments so you can make ribbon shaped pasta.
On each of the attachments there is a very fine cutter and a wider one. After some research from other sources (the instruction booklet doesn't really tell you anything about the attachments) I have ascertained the following:
*Spaghetti - this cutter gives rounded strands less than 2mm wide
* Taglioni (referred to as tagliatelle but this is not what I consider tagliatelle) - this cutter gives very narrow flat strands about 2mm wide
* Fettucine - this cutter gives flat ribbons about 6.5mm wide
* Lasagnette - this cutter gives flat ribbons about 12mm wide
The machine is really easy to put together, apart from the clamp can be a bit fiddly, especially if you don't have a table with a decent overhang to be able to fix it securely. Unfortunately all our tables have an annoying curved edge, so I can't get the machine to clamp very well and it takes two pairs of hands to roll the pasta whilst holding the machine down. Luckily I had my fiancé to help me and we had loads of fun making pasta! The handle turns the rollers very smoothly, so you can quickly produce lovely sheets of fresh pasta.
The machine is really well-made and it is relatively easy to clean with a dry pastry brush - you should never use water as it will make the machine rust. Before using the machine for the first time, you will need to sacrifice some of your pasta dough to clean the machine by running it through a few times.
The cutter attachments have a reassuring weight to them and they produce perfectly cut strands of pasta. We have tried the spaghetti and taglioni settings and we agreed they are too thin for our liking as they remind us too much of egg noodles rather than pasta.
I will admit that I will probably stick to using dried pasta when I want ribbon shaped pasta, but I will definitely continue using the pasta machine to make filled pasta like ravioli and tortellini. I prefer to concoct my own fillings, as the ones from the supermarket usually taste awful. I don't use the ravioli tray as I prefer to just lay out the pasta on the table and assemble the ravioli myself.
The Imperia machine is very well made and I would definitely recommend it if you really enjoy cooking as much as I do!
My fiancé bought the machine from Amazon for just over £45 back in Nov 2009, but it has now increased to just under £60.
After buying our first place, my husband and I went a bit kitchen gadget mad. Having never been great cooks before (a fact I put down to the sub-par kitchens we faced in all of our rented flats), upon becoming homeowners, we were both stung irrevocably with the cooking bug. This Imperia pasta maker was bought from Debenham's, along with Jamie Oliver's sea-salt pig - and whilst neither items are seemingly 'must-haves', I can't imagine our kitchen without either product today!
After finishing up a particularly grueling week at work, I decided to make a carbonara entirely from scratch, following Jamie Oliver's simple pasta recipe, as seen on an episode of Channel 4's 'Jamie at Home' (requiring only 00 tipo flour and eggs). As I kneaded the ingredients together, I was slightly concerned that the project I had taken on was more than I could handle.
However, once I let the dough rest and began running it through the Imperia, I was pleasantly surprised at how a minimal amount of effort turned the crumbly, floury dough into a smooth, thin, sheet, instantly recognizable as pasta. I found the machinery incredibly easy to use - set-up takes less than 10 seconds (you put the handle into the side, and turn!), and running the dough through, even at the beginning, is very easy. I'm no great athlete, but didn't have to strain to work the dough.
The only drawback to this machine has been the clean-up - I'm not entirely sure how to clean it up, and have been scrubbing it down with soap and water. I don't know if it's dishwasher safe, but if it were, it would be the perfect machine - easy clean-up!
Another note is - is it worth nearly £50? Especially when you can grab a bag of sophisticated pasta for less than £1 at the grocery store? This is, in no way, a quick and easy solution for a weeknight dinner - but there is an undeniable pleasure in eating pasta you've made yourself. So if that's worth £50 to you, then I would wholeheartedly recommend this purchase!