Extruding Pasta, Demystified

Cook, Ingredient Spotlight, Learn, Sicily, Tips & Techniques, Weekend Project, Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen

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:


Mind your dough

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.


Move quickly

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.

9 comments about “Extruding Pasta, Demystified

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  4. Yvonne Hennigan

    I use the recommended KitchenAid recipe for my KA pasta press. The macroni (both large and small) turns out badly. when it is dry, many break in half. When it is cooked it does not taste very good. I called KA and they told me my pasta recipe was too dry. If i do make the recipe more moist should i add water or oil? What do you recommend i do?

  5. Olivia Ware Post author

    Yvonne, I would recommend adding a little bit more oil to your pasta recipe, and also salting it a bit more if the boiled pasta is bland (the pasta boiling water should be heavily salted as well). Good luck!

  6. Dana

    I would like to adapt the basic recipies and add flavors from my garden; freash and dried herbs and powdered or puréed vegitables. Any suggestions for how to adapt the basic recipies. As example I picked and dried a lot of porcini last year and would like to use the powder as a flavor.

  7. Marco

    Extrusion pasta basic recipe:
    1kg dry
    330ml wet
    10gr fine sea salt (this is for the chemical reaction only, not seasoning)
    (Not kosher salt. It’s loaded with anti-caking chemicals)

    Dry should only be semolina or 70% selolina 30% “00”
    Never less than 70% semolina
    Wet can be eggs, puréed veggies, squid ink, water, etc.
    No reason to put oil in extrusion dough. Ever.
    Also, (I guess everyone here knows this) never put oil in the cooking water.
    The water should be salty like the ocean to season the pasta.

    Happy Pasta Making!!!

  8. Marco

    There’s no reason to try to “mimic” Italian “00” flour for pasta making. “00” is for focaccia and pizza, specifically.
    Somehow people got the idea that “00” is pasta flour. It’s not but if you don’t want to use 100% semolina a maximum of 30% “00” can be used as I mentioned but it does nothing positive for the quality of your final product.

  9. Irene

    Would Golden Temple duram blend be the same as using the semolina and all purpose flour. I’m trying to find a pasta recipe for extruding in the KA extruder.i have tried drying the macaroni but it cracks. Help


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