Ambivalent: pasta is greasy and sticking in the cutter.... why?
I have an Imperia pasta machine which I received for my birthday. We have only used it twice so far and I am still ambivalent.
The first time I had to throw away my first lot of dough, as it kept coming out with grease on the edges as they hit the extreme sides of the roller (as others have said in other posts, I too did not receive the cutter you describe or the cleaning brush).
The second batch seemed not to do this so I thought we had sorted that out as a first time usage issue.
I cleaned the machine using the only brush I had which was a pastry brush. It seemed to do the trick and I couldn't see any dough left in the machine or anything.
On using it for the second time tonight though, I got more grease on the edges of the pasta as it passed through the rollers.
Also, when I put it through the wider setting of the cutter attachment (fettucine-like shape) some pieces caught in the machine and didn't come out at all, while others caught, piled up in the cutter attachment and then rolled out with big folded clumps together where they had stuck initially (see first photo).
Now there are clumps of dough in the machine which I cannot reach to get out - I have even tried using a wooden skewer to reach into the gaps.
I really love the idea of making my own pasta but if this continues I don't see it becoming too frequent.
Also, I received an extra attachment in the box with no explanation anywhere within the limited instructions as to its purpose. I have included a photo - do you have any suggestions?
Hi Kerryn and thanks for this monster post. I'll try to help as best I can...
Regarding the dough sticking in the machine, this is an issue that readers sometimes have. I suspect this is sometimes down to the moisture of their dough - there are some thoughts on this in some previous posts here (point 6).
In terms of the grease, this is very bizarre and not something I've ever heard of. It almost sounds like grease is seeping out of the inner workings of the machine. My question to you then is to maybe try and clarify where this machine came from and which exact machine it is.
This also applies to the cutters and accessories you did or didn't get with the machine.
To explain - some Imperia retailers for some reason supply different batches of accessories with exactly the same machine (frustrating I know).
Also, other retailers sell a lower-price 'Imperia' machine, one of which for example is co-branded Cucina Pro. I don't believe this is necessarily the same high quality as the full-blown Imperia model (which, on Amazon for example, does I believe come with the correct cutter and brush accessories).
So, in the interests of helping me and other readers better understand who sells what, you might want to ask what retailer the machine came from (or maybe add or send me a pic of the box, to search for any model numbers or co-branding). That would be super-helpful but up to you of course.
Finally, regarding that weird accessory, it is a 'pasta tray'. It fixes onto the pasta machine and is designed to hold your long strip of freshly made pasta dough while you turn the rollers - this is instead of you needing to lower it in there by holding the dough in your other hand.
Truth be told, I think this accessory is a bit more trouble than it's worth; I never have any problems turning the handle with one hand and feeding in pasta with the other.
Hope that helps and, as I say, any more info the better.
PS: In terms of making fresh pasta, don't forget you can very easily make it without a pasta machine - it just means you'll need an additional 5 or 10 minutes with your rolling pin.
Whereas normally you would use a pin to roll out your dough just thin enough to get through the machine's rollers on their widest initial setting, you just carry on rolling your dough flat (flouring as necessary as you go). When the dough loses its elasticity (usually after 10 minutes), it is ready to cut.
And to cut it into shapes - I suggest start with easy tagliatelle (see the final chopping video on this page).