Ahh, don’t we all love our kitchen gadgets! Collecting kitchen tools scores right up there with watching Stanley Tucci cook on Instagram, shopping for the newest cookbooks, and buying gourmet varieites of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.
I remember when everyone had to have a bread machine, a fondue set, or even the handy-dandy slicer/dicer. Many of these items now take up residence in the back of the cupboard, never to be seen or heard from again.
However, today, I bring to you my favorite low-tech kitchen gadgets that stay relevant, at least to my Italian food passion. I hope you find them as useful as I do.
My Top 10 Low-Tech Favorites (numbered in the photo above)
#1) Mortar and Pestle – Great for crushing fresh spices like fennel seeds or mascerating the basil leaves and pine nuts into a pesto paste. Also, I use this tool for crushing garlic and mixing citrus flavors into sugar. The list is endless for this tool that has a very long history.
#2) Potato Ricer – The name says it all. Place a cooked potato inside, squeeze down the handle, and out comes little pieces the size of rice. Just by twisting the dial, the size of the holes change from small, medium, or large. So, the potato ricer is also excellent for making noodles such as passatelli or for squeezing out that extra water from your cooked spinach.
#3) Gnocchi Board – Used for making gnocchi and a dowel for rolling Garganelli pasta. Rolling the dough along the raised ridges creates those lovely wrinkles in the finished pasta! I buy my pasta making tools from Fatto in America: Artisnal Pasta Tools. They are a local company and sell all sorts of interesting pasta making tools. (They do not sponsor me; I just like their products and love supporting local small businesses.)
#4) Hand-grinding cheese grater – This tool was a gift from a dear friend, and I am forever grateful. 🙂 Just place a hunk of hard cheese inside and turn the handle to produce a finely grated garnish.
#5) Spider – A must-have for lifting pasta, noodles, dumplings, vegetables or all manner of items out of boiling water. Lift out the pasta and put it directly in the sauce!
#6) Pastry Cutter – I learned to use a pastry cutter from my Nana who taught me how to make a perfect pie crust (short crust). This tool cuts the cool butter into the flour in an effortless way.
#7) Bench Cutter – I use this tool just about every day. It serves as a efficient scooper for piles of cut veggies on their way to the pot or to scrape that extra bit of butter off the wrapper. I use it cut gnocchi, gather together bits of bread dough on the boards, and on and on…
#8) Microplane – Next, the Microplane is perfect for zesting citrus but also works well for finely grating ginger, garlic, or hard cheeses.
#9) Offset Spatula – If you frost cakes or love to make Tiramisù, the offset spatula will allow you to spead the frosting evenly and easily.
#10) Manual Pasta Machine – I don’t have a Kitchen Aid mixer or its attachments. Although that would be handy, I am happy using my simple low-tech pasta machine with the hand crank. Yes, it takes more effort, but as long as my upper body strength holds out, I opt for the Imperia pasta maker. It comes with a fettuccine and angel hair attachment which I love.
That’s all folks!
Do you have a favorite kitchen gadget?
Let me know if the comments!
Learn to use some of my favorite gadgets in my Cooking and Baking Classes!