Sunday, January 10, 2010

Freshly Extruded Pasta with Ragu Bolognese

For my 18th birthday two years ago, I received a beautiful shiny red Kitchen Aid stand mixer. That stand mixer symbolizes the start of my culinary obsession.

For my 20th birthday this year, my mom surprised me with the new (and expensive) Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer Pasta Press Attachment. Anyone who knows what that is is probably incredibly jealous right now. Heck, I was jealous of myself. I had only dreamed about having the standard pasta attachment. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would be the owner of one of Kitchen Aid's newest attachment.

This attachment extrudes pasta. The excitement of watching the pasta dough squeeze out in cute little shapes is indescribable. Even after having already extruded fresh pasta a good five times, it was still just as exciting to watch as the first time.

The extruded fresh pasta is not only fun to make but also has an amazing texture. Cooked al dente, the pasta is doughy and pleasantly toothsome. Being extruded means that the pasta has little ridges (see in picture below) and a rough texture. This texture helps the pasta hold onto the sauce. It's absolutely amazing and perfect. Fresh pasta is amazing!


Dough for Extruded Pasta

5 oz all purpose flour
5 oz semolina flour
4 fluid ounces warm water

I weighed out flour and placed it in the bowl of my stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. I turned the mixer on low and slowly dribbled in the water. Don't add the water all at once. The goal is for the dough to remain only slightly wet and crumbly. If it comes together into a ball, it will be too wet and become difficult to extrude.

Feed the dough piece by piece into the attachment and watch in wonder as it extrudes out in cute little shapes!

I wish I had taken a picture of the process and of the attachment itself. It really is a beautiful attachment and the pasta is so much fun to make.

Let the pieces of pasta dry for at least 30 minutes or until the pasta feels hard. To cook, boil in water with salt and olive oil as you would with boxed pasta. The amount of time it takes to cook depends on the shape and size and dryness of the fresh pasta.

I then figured that the best sauce for the freshly extruded rigatoni I had just made would be a nice bolognese. So...I made some :)

Ragu Bolognese
recipe adapted from Mario Batali

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 medium onion diced
1 rib of celery
1 clove of garlic
red pepper flakes

1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1/4 pound chopped bacon
1/2 pound spicy italian sausage

1 small can of tomato paste
1 cup of milk
1 cup of dry white wine
sea salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil over medium heat. Place vegetables in a food processor and process until very finely chopped but not pureed. Add to saucepan and sweat over medium heat until vegetables are soft and translucent but not browned--about 10-15 minutes.

Add the beef, pork, bacon, and sausage over high heat. Keep stirring until the meat is cooked through but not browned. This helps give the sauce a creamy texture later on. Add the tomato paste, milk and white wine. Simmer over medium-low heat for 1 to 2 hours. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and remove from heat.

When ready to use, cooked pasta should be added to a saucepan with the appropriate amount of hot ragu bolognese. This is an important step. It gives the pasta a chance to absorb some of the sauce and become evenly coated by the bolognese.

Garnish with chopped parsley and Parmigiano-Reggiano.



  1. From personal experience I can say that pasta was delicious!

  2. I AM jealous of your new attachment! Did you find it easy to work with? I want it but read some crummy reviews on Amazon. We love Batali's bolognese recipe.

  3. The attachment was extremely to work with AND clean. Just let the attachment pieces dry out with bits of dough still clinging on and simply brush them off the next day!

  4. Ahh I'm super excited to use this machine!