Bon Appetit!: How to Make Pasta With Your Stand Mixer
Americans love pasta; we consume nearly six billion pounds of Italy’s most famous food staple annually.
Sadly, a good portion of that amount comes from a box. There’s nothing wrong with that, but foodies will tell you that nothing can beat the taste and texture of fresh homemade pasta.
The Basic Ingredients
All pasta is comprised of a few basic ingredients: flour, eggs, olive oil or water, and salt. You can refer to the owner’s manual or website for your mixer brand to determine the exact amounts to use. However, the following basic recipe has been used on many food blogs and will yield one and a quarter pound of dough, which is enough for four servings of pasta.
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour, sifted (plus extra for preparing the dough)
- Four large beaten eggs
- Two tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Your stand mixer should have come equipped with a flat beater and dough hook. You’ll be using the flat beater first to combine the ingredients before switching to the dough hook to “knead” the dough. This is the same accessory that can make a great loaf of bread.
And it’s so much easier than mixing it by hand!
Here are the basic steps:
- Pour the flour in the bowl and make a well in the center. Add the beaten eggs, water, and salt to this well. This will allow the mixer to slowly incorporate the flour as it beats the mixture, which mimics how it’s done by hand.
- Attach the flat beater and beat the mixture on the second speed setting until it’s well combined which usually takes one to two minutes.
- Change the flat beater to the dough hook and beat it for two minutes on the second speed setting.
- Remove the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Knead by hand for an additional two minutes to ensure all ingredients are evenly dispersed. Let it rest for 20 minutes.
Now you’re ready to create your favorite pasta using the following steps and your stand mixer’s pasta attachment.
Creating Basic Pasta Noodles
You’ll want to cut the dough into four equal pieces so you can work with one at a time. Cover the other pieces with a dishtowel or plastic wrap so they don’t dry out. Now follow these steps to make the pasta:
1. Roll the first piece of dough you’re working with into a rectangular shape.
2. Attach your pasta maker to your machine per the manufacturer’s settings. You’re now going to flatten the dough by running it through the thickest setting first, then again on higher settings that make it increasingly thinner.
3. Lightly flour both sides of the rectangular dough and switch on your mixer. Run the dough through the pasta roller attachment on setting number one. Fold the dough in half and give it another run through the same setting.
4. Lightly flour both sides of the dough again and run it through the next thinner setting on your pasta attachment. Run it through a second time. Repeat these steps until you reach the desired thickness (usually setting number three or four.)
5. Now you’re ready to swap your attachment for a pasta cutter. Most stand mixers offer fettuccine and spaghetti-making cutters. Choose the one you prefer and run the pasta rectangle through it to cut it into noodles.
6. You can either hang the noodles on a dowel or wrap them into coils while you repeat the steps above with the other dough pieces.
7. Cook your pasta in lightly salted boiling water. Fresh made pasta takes much less time to cook than the boxed varieties. You’ll only need to cook the noodles for three to seven minutes depending upon how al dente you like your pasta to be.
Making Other Pasta Varieties
Spaghetti and fettuccine are not the only types of pasta you can create at home using a kitchen stand mixer. Many manufacturers also make ravioli and pasta press attachments so you can turn out hollow pasta shapes such as penne, ziti, and fusilli.
If you’re intimidated about making ravioli using your kitchen mixer, don’t be. The attachment will incorporate your ravioli filling of choice evenly throughout the pockets of ravioli.
Pasta Recipe Variations
You can also make red or green tinted pasta at home by mixing a couple of teaspoons of tomato paste or spinach puree into the basic pasta recipe. When doing so, omit the water and add it in half teaspoon increments if the pasta dough seems dry while your machine is mixing it.
You can also experiment with using semolina flour, either as all of the flour or half of the amount along with all-purpose flour. Many cooks consider semolina flour to be a true pasta flour, as it helps create a firmer finished dish.
What About Gluten Free Pasta?
If you require a gluten-free diet you may be feeling left out right now since flour contains wheat. However, many cooks on gluten-free diets have perfected homemade pasta recipes using their own all-purpose gluten-free flour or by buying a variety at a health food store.
Feel free to experiment with your own additional ingredients and flour varieties to find the perfect pasta recipe for your kitchen stand mixer.
Knowing How to Make Pasta is Easy
Knowing how to make pasta is easy, especially with a kitchen stand mixer. With so many attachments available, it may be a very long time before you decide to buy a box or bag of pasta at the grocery store. In fact, you may never buy it ever again!
If you don’t own a kitchen stand mixer but are now inspired to look into buying one, check out our list of the perfect stand mixers of 2019.