My grandson wants a pasta machine for Christmas. What do you all recommend, along with any ingredients, recipes, cookbooks. And thank you!
Here are a few answers, and suggestions.
A manual pasta machine (does the job, moderate cost compared to electric ones or attachments to stand mixer). For example, Imperia or Marcato
Book? a manual from Cook's Illustrated.
Or an Italian point of view
Flour 00 (double zero)...ground very fine
Free range eggs
Italian Parmesan cheese
Extra virgin olive oil... maybe an estate oil or one with a specific olive (like wines)
San Marzano canned and/or good sun-dried tomatoes
Various garnishes or ingredients he likes...herbs, sausage, nuts, etc.
Beyond or aside from the pasta rolling machine & book...
If you have a cooking school or teacher near you, buy him a single class (a few hours or half a day) in how to make pasta. This is often eye-opening and a big help with technique.
A very fine (simple wood) rolling pin and large board to work on (instead of or in addition to the pasta cutting machine)
I've never seen the point of electric pasta machines- at any rate for a young enthusiast a manual machine will cause no difficulty- cranking the machine is not problem, and doing it by hand gives a better feel for the process. I've used several machines and not noticed a great deal of difference- currently using an Italian "Ampia" brand. One difference- some kinds have the cutters built into the machine, others will accommodate separately purchased cutters, allowing more flexibility.