Mediterranean cuisine calls for an emphasis on freshness - and pasta is no exception. While store-bought spaghetti is great in a pinch, there's nothing like the smooth, slightly doughy, flavorful taste of homemade pasta.
I have been known to whip up some decent Bolognese, but that's about as far as my love for Italian cuisine has taken me. Because I've never set out to make my own noodles before, I was a bit intimidated to test out the Lello PastaMaster 3000. However, the machine's convenient features and efficient mechanics made the pasta-making experience truly enjoyable.
The pasta maker was easy to assemble and straightforward in its construction. The gadget comes with just a few appendages - namely, the various discs that allow users to make a variety of pasta types. I chose to make fettuccine, but there were also disc options for spaghetti, linguini, lasagna, macaroni and other noodle shapes. I placed the fettuccine disk on the rotary housing after carefully following all the preparatory steps outlined in the instructional packet (which was very easy to understand).
Because this was my first attempt at making pasta from scratch, I decided to cook basic egg noodles. Although I balked at first at how many eggs (eight!) were required to make a single serving of pasta, I later realized that I could've easily halved this recipe and still been able to feed three or four adults.
The ingredients for my pasta were very basic - just eggs and flour - so food prep wasn't really necessary. I did have a bit of a problem deciphering how much flour to use, as the pasta maker's instructions only notate flour amounts in pounds (and, being the novice that I am, I don't have a kitchen scale). By eyeballing the flour amount, I was able to at least get the mixture going; I needed to add more flour a few times in order to reach the desired consistency, though.
The machine did its job beautifully. As I added flour, the pasta maker kneaded and combined it with the existing dough without any problem. The instructions called for about 15 minutes of kneading time, which I thought was acceptable (and preferable to labor-intensive hand kneading!).
Finally, it was time to move the shutter slide out of the way and allow the dough to descend through the linguini disk. This wasn't difficult to do, and it was very rewarding to see the dough manifested as long, thick, fresh pasta. It took a little while (about an hour) for all the dough to come through the pasta maker, and then it was time to boil the noodles!
Fresh noodles need to be cooked for a shorter amount of time than do dried noodles, so I only boiled the fettuccine for a few minutes before it was al dente and ready to eat. The noodles were thick, eggy, rich and delicious.
Clean up was simple and easy with the PastaMaster 3000. At first, I was a bit confused as to how to remove the rotary housing, but it turned out that I simply needed to unscrew the needle before the housing could be disconnected for cleaning. I soaked the appendages in warm, soapy water (easy!) and wiped the machine down with a wet sponge.
All things considered, I really enjoyed my pasta-making experience. The taste of fresh pasta is truly superior to that of dried pasta, so having the ability to make my own noodles at home was really a treat. A few features of the PastaMaster 3000 really stuck out as my favorites:
Looking for some delicious pasta recipes? Visit CHEFScatalog.com recipe section for Pasta Recipes.
Try these tools to make pasta making easy:
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