We have stocked the Italian-made Imperia pasta-rolling machines for many years now, and know them to be vastly superior in performance and reliability to the many similar machines now on the market which are made in Asia.
The Imperia is made in two sizes.
The small domestic machine enables the user to roll out a sheet of pasta 15cm wide which may be used for lasagna etc or fed back through either of the two supplied roller cutters for taglierini or fettuccine.
The commercial model, available in both manual and electric versions, has 22cm wide rollers. This machine operates in a similar fashion to the domestic model, but there is a choice of 6 different cutters of various widths.
Also, we had increasingly become aware that there was a certain lack locally of the various bits & pieces of equipment that serious pasta makers like to have in order to produce the best possible result. When in Italy earlier in the year, principally to visit our old friends at the Musso Icecream Machine factory, we sought out and found some manufacturers of traditional pasta-making aids & accessories.
In short, we now have on our shelves a wide selection of ravioli cutters in various shapes and sizes, including spring loaded ones for easy release of the pasta.
Our cappelletti cutters are beautifully made and are similarly spring loaded.
They are a most unusual device, used in the making of cappelletti , or “little hats”– a kind of tortellini. This is a traditional North Italian winter dish generally served in a delicious, rich broth.
We also have a whole lot of new pasta cutters and associated implements.
We have 3 different types of ribbed pasta board.
PA256 (top) PA5053
One of these is the old standard gnocchi board found in many Italian kitchens, and which can now be fairly readily located in good kitchen shops in this country. It is common practice simply to roll gnocchi with the fingers against a fork, but the ribbing on this board improves the ability of the pasta to hold its sauce. The malloreddus bat is a small, racquet-shaped board used for making the Sardinian variation on gnochhetti. Each of these three boards is made from beechwood, a timber whose many virtues we have outlined in a previous blog.
The gnocchi board’s (slightly) bigger brother, the garganelli board is a little harder to find. Similar in appearance to penne, the garganelli is made by rolling the pasta into a tube up the ribs of the board, using a tiny rolling pin to do so. Whilst it’d be quite a challenge to handmake penne, garganelli-making is a breeze with this board!
Another useful beechwood item which arrived in the same shipment is a 700mm x 500mm board used for rolling out large sheets of pasta which can then be cut to suit.
BD424 (board) PA374 (brush)
The board can be used on any suitably sized available surface in the kitchen, is easy to move if necessary, and means that valuable bench space is not congested or covered with pasta ingredients. Needless to say, we have a range of rolling pins (also beech) of various lengths, made specifically for rolling out pasta.
Also in the rolling pin department is a remarkable ravioli roller/cutter made entirely of – surprise! – beechwood, which is a work of art in itself.
Our pasta “guitar” is used in the making of spaghetti alla chitarra, which is said to have originated in the Abruzzo region. A sheet of pasta is laid over the multi-strings of this “instrument”, then forced through the strings which cut the pasta into a type of square-sectioned spaghetti. This is usually served with the typically regional dish of mixed meat ragu.
Pasta drying racks of different designs are now widely available. We’ve always found that a couple of broomsticks across the backs of 2 kitchen chairs were perfectly adequate & furthermore, easy to store. However, there has been a certain demand to which we’ve succumbed, and that was for pasta drying trays. These are stackable frames with mesh stretched across the base, so that the pasta can be draped across the tray with the adequate ventilation allowing the pasta to dry evenly.
We have 2 types of tray.
One has a stainless steel frame with a stainless mesh. ST960
The other has wooden frame and nylon mesh. ST955
If you would like to pursue the art of pasta making, including wonderful explanations of the above equipment and how best to use your pasta, we suggest you get yourself a copy of Marcella Hazan’s ‘The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking’. It gives a complete description of how to make pasta using either a machine or rolling pin, along with a substantial chapter of sauce recipes to accompany your newly made pasta.
Should you wish to enquire about any of the above, please call us (you can find our details in the CONTACT page) and quote the product code you are interested in.