In my last post of 2022, I wrote that I recently purchased an electric pasta-making machine from Emiliomiti: La Monferrina’s Dolly III Pasta Extruder. What is a Dolly? La Monferrina’s website says:
“DOLLY is a small ‘counter top’ machine, compact and reliable; it is suitable both for restaurants and for people who like good home-made pasta. DOLLY can knead by using any kind of flour and it produces long and short pasta shapes by simply changing the die. The machine can be supplied (on request) with a rotating cutting knife for short pasta shapes.”
I thought about buying a Dolly for—as the patient and helpful folks at Emiliomiti can attest—a very long time. Did I need an electric extruder when the torchio has served me well for over 12 years? Ultimately I decided that the electric Dolly augments rather than replaces my torchio. The Dolly will allow me to explore a range of pasta shapes, especially buckwheat noodles which can be extremely hard (i.e., physically difficult) to extrude with a handpress.
The Dolly will also speed up pasta making when feeding a crowd. I typically use my Kitchen Aid standing mixer to make my torchio-bound pasta dough. After mixing, I transfer the dough to the press to extrude and hand cut. The Dolly combines a mixing/kneading bin with an extruder and a cutting attachment. Making pasta with a torchio to serve 8 or more people can take some time (and, if your dough is hard, muscle). What the Dolly lacks in charm, it makes up in brawn. Push a button and the electric Dolly creates up to 6 Kg of pasta (i.e., a lot of pasta) in an hour.
I’m very excited to work with the Dolly and write about it in this year’s upcoming posts on pasta making. And speaking of pasta, my next post will feature a recipe with historical ties to the torchio: Baked Macaroni and Cheese from Toni Tipton-Martin’s excellent cookbook, Jubilee – Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking (Clarkson Potter, 2019). Stay tuned.