About three years ago I bought a KitchenAid 5-quart Artisan Stand Mixer. Pretty quickly I started acquiring all the fun attachments that can go along with it. I bought the slicer/shredder attachment, the food grinder attachment, and the grain mill attachment. The grain mill is tied for my #1 favorite - it works so great I started using it more than my Blendtec Kitchen Mill so I ended up giving the Blendtec to my mother since she wanted to start milling her own flour too.
The other attachment that is tied for my #1 Favorite is the Pasta Roller and Ravioli Maker. Come to find out, making pasta is actually really easy!
The pasta roller attachment comes with a handy little manual with some really accessible pasta recipes. To make an egg pasta it's literally only four ingredients: 4 eggs, 3 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 tbs water.
I like to use flour that I mill myself from organic Durum Wheat Berries; the hardest of all wheat and the most commonly used for pastas. I had a hard time finding these - Whole Foods and Central Market never carries them. I've purchased from Purcell Mountain Farms (Azure Standard has them, but they only sell in bulks of 20 lbs). Mill the Durum Wheat Berries until you get the 3 1/2 cups of Durum Semolina Flour you need. It's confusing - but apparently grinding the grain is a simple form of processing that turns Durum Wheat Berries into a flour called "Semolina Flour,"
Dump the eggs, flour, salt, and water in your mixer together with a flat beater for about a min, then you put on the dough hook for ~2 min (the dough hook comes with the mixer). Take the dough out of the bowl and hand knead it for just a minute or two and let it rest for 20 minutes. When your timer goes off, you cut the pasta up into 4 pieces and get ready to feed it into the pasta roller attachment. It flattens beautiful sheets of pasta out starting with the thickest "1" setting which kneads and thins the dough. You feed it through 4-5 times to knead it until there's some flexibility and softness. You shut off the mixer and move the setting to "2" and feed it through another 4 times to continue to knead it and thin the dough further and further. You shut it off in between every setting. After setting "2" you only need to feed it through the rest of the settings one time. You only do the kneading on "1" and "2" to warm it up. Take the pasta sheet to:
The absolute best lasagna I've ever had was an adapted Martha Stewart recipe using my own homemade lasagna sheets (honestly)! Recipe is shared at the bottom of this post.
If you want pasta that's not lasagna, you switch attachments to either the spaghetti, the fettuccine, or ravioli attachments and run the sheets through one at a time. They sell pasta drying racks, but my Uncle in Maine was kind enough to make me one (he's a woodworker).
To make ravioli is pretty easy too. You take your pasta sheet (that you flattened up to setting "7") and feed it through the ravioli attachment while pushing in whatever stuffing you've cooked up. There are tons of delicious filling recipes: my favorite is a basic 1 part lump crab + 1 part ricotta cheese (salt and pepper to taste).
The one mistake I made on my first batch of ravioli was to make sure you flatten the lasagna sheet the full width of the attachment. Mine was a little thin (because when you do spaghetti or fettuccine it doesn't really matter how wide the sheet it) and the ravioli filling oozed out the 1/2 finished sides.
Making ravioli is easy, but it's not as easy to visualize as everything else. There's a good video by Williams Sonoma you can watch that demonstrates it. I've watched pretty much every kitchenAid video on Williams Sonoma's YouTube channel:
Martha Stewart's Three Cheese Skillet Lasagna, with some personal modifications in the below recipe (I like to add homemade Italian pork sausage that I grind myself using my sausage grinder attachment; I'll post that recipe in a separate blog) My version of Martha's recipe is better in my opinion - I'd recommend you follow the below: