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Old 09-21-2006, 11:43 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolelaine
I am not really interested in a device that kneads for me. I just want to be able to roll it out, I have tried to do this, but I haven't ever gotten it thin enough. Mish, I ordered your book, it should be here anyday. Thank you.
You're very welcome carolelaine. Hope you enjoy the book as much as I do. The Imperia will get the dough as thin as you like. You can adjust the settings, and run it through the machine a few times. The cutting attachment comes with & will cut the dough as well.

Here is some info & recipes for the Imperia:

http://www.fantes.com/imperia.htm
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Old 09-23-2006, 03:59 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Andy M.
Michael:

Are you recommending the Imperia only because it has a greater variety of cutters or is there an issue with the KA attachment?
No problem with the quality of the KA roller (KPSA) or cutters (I have the KPRA Pasta Roller Set which was all they had when I got mine - KPSA roller, fettuccine cutter and linguine cutter and love it because that is all I'm really interested in) - just the price. IMHO - you can get more bang for your bucks from the Imperia especially if you want to to get more cutters. And, KA marketing is starting to really cheese my grits ... if you look at the ad for the KPCA "Pasta Maker" attachment - thick noodle cutter and angel hair pasta cutter - you have to read the manual to find out you need the KPSA pasta roller in order to use them. I would advise anyone to read the manual on the Pasta Maker Plates (SNPA) before blowing the money on this extruder attachment. It makes RP look good!

And you don't even want to get me started on the KRAV "Ravioli Maker" - which for $125 only uses your KA mixer as a stand to hold it - you have to crank it by hand to use it ...

My kids don't have KA's - so for Christmas a couple or four years ago I got my daughter an Atlas and my sons the Imperia (it was all I could get at the time) and the Atlas and Imperia both worked just as good as my KA. They have all since then purchased cutters for their favorite pasta shapes ... only costs them about $15, each.
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Old 09-23-2006, 09:57 AM   #23
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Thanks, Michael. I've been toying with the idea of getting one. I apprecieate your sharing your experience.
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Old 09-27-2006, 02:09 PM   #24
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I started out with and Atlas pasta roller/cutter that my mom picked up for $5 at a gourmet shop going out of business. Years later I gifted myself with a KA and the extruder attachments. I don't know if it's because of a lifetime of making homemade pasta with grandma (don't all Philipino grandma's teach pasta making?) that I remain unable to finesse the moisture balance between making a dough that is ductile enough to force through the extruder yet dry enough to not reconnect on the other side. I've tried sooo many times to find the balance but I always end up salvaging my dough with more flour, rolling it and cutting it with the good ol' Atlas roller. Besides, it's way more fun, makes the kids feel like chefs. It is the ultimate playdoh machine. We lay the finished strands out on large steel cookie grids. As far as kneading goes, I do rely on the KA because I can't possibly knead for 10 minutes; my wrists won't allow it. Don't really want 10 minutes worth of 9 year old's nails in the batch either.

Now I have a question for you seasoned pasta makers. Do you go to the trouble to find semolina (pasta) flour or do you get good results with regular flour. My grandma made exquisite al dente pasta by hand and I KNOW she didn't use or find semolina. I've never been able to recreate grandma's texture with either regular OR semolina. What's the trick?
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Old 09-27-2006, 02:59 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaye Lewis
I started out with and Atlas pasta roller/cutter that my mom picked up for $5 at a gourmet shop going out of business. Years later I gifted myself with a KA and the extruder attachments. I don't know if it's because of a lifetime of making homemade pasta with grandma (don't all Philipino grandma's teach pasta making?) that I remain unable to finesse the moisture balance between making a dough that is ductile enough to force through the extruder yet dry enough to not reconnect on the other side. I've tried sooo many times to find the balance but I always end up salvaging my dough with more flour, rolling it and cutting it with the good ol' Atlas roller. Besides, it's way more fun, makes the kids feel like chefs. It is the ultimate playdoh machine. We lay the finished strands out on large steel cookie grids. As far as kneading goes, I do rely on the KA because I can't possibly knead for 10 minutes; my wrists won't allow it. Don't really want 10 minutes worth of 9 year old's nails in the batch either.

Now I have a question for you seasoned pasta makers. Do you go to the trouble to find semolina (pasta) flour or do you get good results with regular flour. My grandma made exquisite al dente pasta by hand and I KNOW she didn't use or find semolina. I've never been able to recreate grandma's texture with either regular OR semolina. What's the trick?
I've had my Atlas pasta maker for eons and wouldn't consider anything else. The only change I would make is to retrofit an electric motor for it. Over the years Arthur (itis) and carpal tunnel syndrome are making it more difficult for me to crank it. I can get a motor for it fairly inexpensively so that's the route I will go. Plus, extra cutters for it are far less expensive than those for the KA. I have the mixer but have no desire to add the pasta attachments.

As for the semolina. I have never used it. Can't get it where I live and have had good results with what I do use. Just regular all-purpose flour for all my pastas. Flavored or otherwise and have never had a problem.
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Old 09-27-2006, 04:01 PM   #26
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KA sells (or used to sell) 2 kinds of pasta attachments. One is the extruder type - this is useless. The other is virtually identical to a hand-cranked pasta maker (except it is powered by the mixer) - the model is KPRA - this attachment allows you to thin out the dough and cut it into noodles of varying widths (depends on attachments). The latter typically sells for about $100, possibly a little less on eBay.

Hand cranked models are robust, and significantly cheaper. You need a sturdy surface with a thick, 1 inch overhang to reliably bolt the pasta cutter to it. Especially when thinning dough, you will be exerting a fair amount of force on the crank so the unit must be attached firmly.

Either the KA-KPRA or a hand cranked model does the same thing - it thins the dough (there are numbered settings to set the thinness - you work your way through the thickest setting down to the thinnest setting you want) and then a cutter cuts the thinned dough to a preset width (default models usually come with cutters for fettuccine and spaghetti).

Hand models also offer (as noted) other cutting attachments. I bought the angel hair cutter for my hand-cranked Atlas pasta maker, since I happen to like very fine noodles, but if I thin the dough very fine, simply using the spagetti cutter comes close.

The key to making pasta dough is to make a very heavy dough. About 2 years ago there was an extensive discussion on DC re home-made pasta and here is the recommended recipe for egg pasta: 1 US "large" egg to 4 oz flour (either AP or bread) - measure the flour in a scale! (4 oz flour is from 2/3 to 3/4 a cup by volume, depending on how you measure). The guru of this post was Darkstream, so look for posts under his name. This thread is definitely worth resurrecting.
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Old 09-28-2006, 03:01 PM   #27
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That was great information. I did not know that you needed to bolt down the hand cranked model. I am going to have a look at that thread you mentioned. Thanks
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Old 09-29-2006, 02:47 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolelaine
That was great information. I did not know that you needed to bolt down the hand cranked model. I am going to have a look at that thread you mentioned. Thanks
Sorry, I didn't mean the hand model had to be permanently bolted to the table top. It attaches with a screw-type C-clamp. But you still need that overhang to get it clamped on securely.
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