Friday, February 11, 2011

Object of Lust 6: The Bigolaro Pasta Extruder

Life is a combination of magic and pasta. – Federico Fellini

There is nothing quite as wonderful as homemade pasta.
Photo: WordRidden, Flickr ccl
Bigoli – extruded tube-like pasta similar to bucatini. The implement used to make them (bigolaro) is a beautiful object that the bigolatore sits on while extruding. 

Bucatini – hollow spaghetti-like strands, part of the spaghetti extended family, which are commonly used with moderately thick sauces. 

This is a major object of lust for me. It's such a "romantic" idea. Picture yourself... sitting in a sunny country kitchen with bubbling sauce sending sweet aromas into the hearth-warmed air; fresh crusty Italian loaves cooling on the counter; a stovetop Espresso maker gurgling on the stove. And you, perched on the wooden stool of your well worn bigolaro, pressing fresh noodles for the dinner ahead...

I found this amazing looking manual machine when I was looking for pasta attachments for a KitchenAid stand mixer. It was love at first sight. Sadly, I seem to have misplaced my Italian kitchen in which to put it...

The modern Bigolaro is identical in design to the original, patented in 1875,  and is still made by the same artisan producer. It really is a piece of living history and yet is capable of quickly and easily making pasta.

The Bigolaro extrusion chamber is cast from bronze. The inherent roughness of casting gives a "tooth" to the pasta. This allows the pasta to hold a sauce much better than that made by more polished methods. 

Various brass dies allow you to press different types of pasta, including rigatoni, spaghetti and, of course, bigolio.

The extrusion chamber has a capacity of 480 grams and can be used for any pasta including 100% Durum semolina, or the traditional Bigoli recipe of wholewheat flour, milk and melted butter.

To use this fantastic machine you simply raise the pressing piston out of the chamber, load up your pasta dough and go at it.  The original Bigolaro was bolted to a stool. There now is a counter mounted version, which I would love to have. 

It is important to note that the counter Bigolaro still needs to be bolted to a very sturdy worktop, such as a strong counter or heavy harvest table. Also, note it screws onto the surface so it's there for good. It's a machine that means business.

There appears to be only one manufacturer left in the world for these amazing machines. They are Bottene Brothers in Vincenza, Italy. The web site is Apparently if you email they will send you an invoice, and if you pay, they will ship.

I found someone who mentioned online that they purchased one for £200 in 2008, including shipping. I would imagine the price has increased somewhat in the last three years.

Still, it's a thing of lust and beauty...


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  1. I got a quote of £185 for one so it would seem prices haven't increased.