Taste testing all of the Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen’s new recipes for our Sicily theme has been a major job perk (the fritto misto were downright addictive)! Our cooks are experts at cooking with a light hand, in true Italian style, letting the bright and bold Sicilian flavors shine.
Take, for example, this Fresh Rigatoni with Sausage Ragu, which demonstrates just how memorable a simple meal can be. The recipe involves making rigatoni from scratch using a pasta extruding attachment, and it still comes together in surprisingly little time with a savory prepared sauce. That’s because the attachment is so easy to use; it’s even earned a five-star rating from our customers.
“We’ve tested a million electric pasta makers, and this attachment always works better than all of them,” confirms Emily Wann, a member of our Electrics team.
Here are a couple of ways to achieve the best results with your pasta press:
The fresh pasta recipe you use is key when it comes to extruding. Try the rigatoni version, which calls for a mixture of all-purpose and cake flours. Sandra Wu, the Test Kitchen cook behind the recipe, explains that the combination mimics traditional 00 flour used in Italy. “When I tried using straight-up all-purpose flour, the extruded pasta had a very gummy, though texture that was undesirable,” she says.
The tendency is to move very slowly and carefully when first using the pasta press, cutting the shapes precisely. In fact, faster is better. Wann swears quick cuts result in smooth edges and uniform shapes.
Don’t rush clean-up
Be sure to wait for all of the leftover dough pieces in the machine to dry before cleaning the machine. That way, the process will be much easier — and much less messy.
Readers, any other tips for making your own extruded pastas? Tell us in the comments!
About the author: Olivia Terenzio grew up in Mississippi, where she cultivated a love of sweet potatoes, crawfish and cloth napkins at a young age. A passion for sharing food with friends and family led her into the kitchen and later to culinary school, where she learned how to roast a chicken and decorate a cake like a pro. As a Williams-Sonoma blog editor, she’s now lucky enough to be talking, writing and thinking about food all day.