A Visit From Alex

I recently attended another workshop by Alexander Talbot of Ideas in Food.  It was at Manursing Island Club in Rye, New York with the Club Chefs of Westchester.  The topic of discussion was of an Arcobaleno pasta extruder that I have been following  for some time on the Ideas in Food blog.  At the dinner, we had a chance to taste some very interesting pasta dishes like Salt Cod Noodles, utilizing the left over poaching liquid from salt cod brandade, Pumpernickel Chitarra with Smoked Salmon, and Kimchee Spaghetti. 

The Machine itself is quite amazing.  It mixes, kneads, extrudes the pasta all in one process and cuts the labor dramatically.  It also eliminates a Kitchenade mixer(if you use one), a pasta roller, and cuts the production time as well.  The mixer and basin parts are stainless steel and the dies are actually made from bronze.  The electric cutting knife was my favorite accessory because when you slowed down the speed of the knife it actally controlled the size of the pasta.  Ingenious !!  There are countless dies that are available as well, from  lasagne sheets and penne to fun mushroom and airplane shapes for the kids macaroni and cheese.  I would say this pasta extruder would be more for a commercial or professional kitchen because of its production volume and price.  But, for the serious home cook, it is definitley small enough to set on top of your counter top and lock youself  in your kitchen for hours of fun !!

As a professional, I have been making different pasta, ravioli, and gnocchi for years and have always enjoyed the whole concept of making them.  By watching the demo and learning about the the pasta extruder I was definately inspired to do something.  Though I would love to max out my credit card for this great machine, I don’t see it happening anytime soon.  So I remembered Ferran Adria’s Parmesan Spaghetto and looked to go another route with pasta making.  The next couple of weeks, I will be looking into making noodles with agar, transglutaminase, and other hydrocolloids.  Ahhh the pastabilities-sorry Arcobaleno.

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