Walnut-sized pieces of dough go into the hopper. We had some issues with dough getting stuck when we filled the hopper too full (as in this picture). We found two to three pieces of dough at a time worked best.
We’ve been nursing a major crush on this gadget ever since spotting it on the Williams-Sonoma website a few months ago. We finally got our hands on one and immediately cleared our schedule for an entire afternoon of pasta-making. And boy, was it worth it!
We’ll spare you the suspense: we absolutely love this pasta press. It’s easy to use, super fun, and makes great pasta. Watching the first tubes of bucatini emerge from the machine, we felt like we were witnesses to a minor miracle. We couldn’t take our eyes off it and almost ended up with two-foot-long strands of spaghetti.
In our first few rounds of pasta-making, we made batches of bucatini, rigatoni, and fusilli. The process is so easy. You make the dough and then feed walnut-sized chunks into the hopper. An auger inside the press catches the dough and forces it through the pasta plates.
The pasta emerges completely smooth and uniform. You use a swinging wire arm to cut off the pasta at the desired length. Once we got a feel for when and where to cut each pasta shape, the whole process went smoothly and quickly.
The pasta plates are easy to change out, even with the entire press still attached to the mixer. All the parts feel solidly made and durable, with the possible exception of the wire cutting arm. We could see snapping that thing very easily, and with the possible exception of kitchen shears, we’re not sure if another kitchen tool could do as nice a job. All the parts also fit together intuitively, so assembling and disassembling are a snap.
Here are some specific pros and cons we noted while testing the press:
Pros of the KitchenAid Pasta Press
• Super fun! When we’d used up all the dough we’d made, we actually felt disappointed and wish we’d made more. Making pasta with this press would be a fun activity to do with kids or a big group of friends. Everyone can take turns doing things like feeding dough into the hopper, cutting the pasta, and choosing the shape.
• Intuitive assembly and sturdy design. Apart from that wire cutter, we’re not worried about any flimsy parts breaking on us in the middle of a batch of pasta.
• It was actually much easier to make pasta with this press than with a pasta roller, which requires multiple passes to smooth out the dough and press the sheets thinner.
• It’s easy to make a lot of pasta at once. We’re not likely to pull it out on a casual weeknight for a single batch of pasta, but we will definitely set aside an afternoon to make several batches to freeze for later. Bulk production is where this attachment can really shine.
Cons of the KitchenAid Pasta Press
• Some of the shapes worked better than others. The bucatini was a little thicker than we were expecting, but it definitely made a sturdy hollow pasta. The fusilli didn’t always spiral and we ended up twisting many pieces by hand. Of all of them, the rigatoni was the closest to a typical manufactured shape. All shapes held up during cooking and were very tasty.
• This is not exactly a con, but just a heads up - When you first load the hopper and start a fresh batch of pasta, it can take a few minutes before the pasta starts to be pressed out. We kept wondering if the dough was caught or we’d done something wrong, but no, we just needed to be patient!
• Lumps of pasta would sometimes get stuck in the hopper if we filled it too full. We learned not to fill it too full. Two or three lumps at a time worked well.
• Clean-up wasn’t the easiest. Dough winds up jammed into the pasta plates, the auger, and even the threads on the casing. Instructions say to let the dough dry and then brush it out, but we found using a toothpick or the end of a skewer to be more effective. To be fair, the dried pasta does flake away easily and cleanly.
• It’s a pricey little attachment. Williams-Sonoma sells it for $180. This is more than we’d want to spend for an occasional afternoon of fun, but worth it if you already make pasta frequently. We could see several friends going in on one together and then passing it between one another.
Do you have this attachment? What thoughts do you have about using it?
• Find it: KitchenAid Pasta Press Attachment (Model KPEXTA), $179.95 at Williams-Sonoma and $179.95 at Amazon
Related: Kitchen Equipment: Choosing a Pasta Maker
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Images: Emma Christensen and Faith Durand)