I have the Kitchen Aid roller attachment and I have been very pleased with it. I have had it many years now and while I don't use it often, I enjoy it when I do use it. It makes sheets, linguine, and fettuccine. I mostly do sheets for lasagna or filled pastas and fettuccine. We tend to like the wider pastas in our house, not the linguine. I tried the kitchen aid attachment to make shapes like fusilli etc... I think it was an extruder attachment. It was not fun to use and worked poorly so I returned it to the store right away. Maybe they have improved the extruders since then or maybe there are better extruding machines, but I am happy to stick with my rollers. I usually just do a simple flour, egg, and salt recipe but do sometimes swap whole wheat/white whole wheat flour and/or semolina for some of the white flour. It makes the dough a bit more challenging to work with but not so much so that it is impossible. The ratio I usually use is 2 c. flour to 3 eggs.
Karen, Thanks for sharing your experiences. Have you ever frozen your dough or the results after making shapes? I've read that after extruding, the noodles, etc, freeze well. I've never heard of freezing raw pasta before I got this machine and saw it mentioned in some of the videos.
I am thinking that my Kitchen Aid attachment might be better at rolling out pasta that has actual STUFF in it, like bits of spinach, etc...and larger herbs. It's just a guess on my part. The extruder machine, the Philips, looks to me like I have to be careful and really whiz up...make juices. Like perhaps it will balk BAWK if I get too carried away with additions. I have tried ANYthing yet. But I will be keeping the KA attachment and may get both things going at once and then freezing the results.
I am not thrilled with eating white flour pasta so much. I want to incorporate SOME healthy into them, if possible. Doubt it is very possible. ON THE OTHER HAND: LOOK AT ALL THOSE HEALTHY ITALIANS!!
Catbatty-To answer your questions....I usually use my pasta fresh but I have frozen it before. If I plan on freezing it, I make sure to air dry it first and pack it carefully. Then I try not to keep it in the freezer too long. I have never frozen the plain dough before being rolled into a shape first and have only frozen long pastas like fettuccine or ravioli. For filled pastas, however, do not dry those and make sure the filling is not wet or it may make the raw dough "mushy". You can cook frozen pasta straight from the freezer which is actually preferable for texture.
I think it would be easier to cut pasta with "stuff" in it using rollers vs. an extruder. Since I don't own an extruder anymore, I can only say that I have incorporated chopped herbs in dough before and it cuts fine with the roller. The edges are a bit rougher but that only helps the sauce cling better IMHO. I also rarely make white pastas. I usually do a 50-50 combo of whole wheat and white or whole wheat and semolina. I have done 100 whole wheat before and that works too. With whole wheat flour or semolina, you may need a bit more liquid and it makes the dough a bit more difficult to work with but nothing that impossible.
If you are interested in other additions besides herbs, I have also done dried mushroom powder, tomato powder, cracked pepper, garlic (dried and raw) to name a few.You just have to play with the dry/wet components a bit depending on your add in i.e. if you add a powder you might not need as much flour or add a bit of water and if you add something like tomato paste you may need more flour etc... And I always let my dough rest before rolling.
Karen: THANKS! I have watched several videos for making in the extruder. Out of all of them, one mentioned letting the pasta rest a bit after extruding. And, in another, a person mentioned that she blanches hers for 1-2 minutes prior to freezing. Those two mentions were mentioned NOWHERE else that I've seen. Wonder if either are legit/traditional, etc. Odd that those two items aren't mentioned more if they are really necessary.
I love all your ideas. Mushroom powder! That sounds awesome and I do have frozen dried porcini that I could whiz to a powder. That sounds like a good way to get more flavor into the dough.
Hmmm....air drying it first. I don't think anyone mentioned that in the videos. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences!!!! I really appreciate!!!
Catbatty-Sorry I did not respond sooner. For whatever reason, there are days that I can't log in to pro boards. Not sure what's up with that but anyway... You can freeze before drying as well. I just have found the pasta stores/cooks better if dried and then frozen. Again, this applies mainly to long cuts of pasta and not to filled pastas. I would be VERY reticent to blanch fresh pasta before freezing. You have to keep in mind that fresh pasta cooks VERY quickly, it takes literally just a few minutes, so blanching it will likely just cook it through depending on how thick you roll it. And I would be afraid it would be gummy with cooking from frozen after blanching. I have never heard of this method. But I don't know everything so who knows!!!! Let me know what you end up doing and how it works!!! Mangia!!