It's a clinical way of looking at it, but that's what pasta is: A bunch of extrusions. The same production method used to make aluminum cooling fins, vinyl threshold inserts and rubber hosing is also what creates tasty fusilli. And as a lifelong pasta lover, I became entranced by that GIF above when I spotted it over at BoingBoing, and I had to track down the machine doing the work. Which was fun because in the process I got to make my own GIF of conchigliette being made:
So the first machine is called the Dolly Mini P3, a saucy little $2,000 machine made of aluminum and stainless steel. You can add that rotating cutting head and adjust the speed to get different lengths, and you can control the shape of the pasta coming out by swapping out the nozzles—brass for coarse, teflon for smooth!
The second machine is its bigger brother, the non-mini P3, which will set you back $3,500. Here it is in action, and be sure to check out some of the money-shot moments—from 1:21 to 1:46 it makes sfoglia like some kind of H.R. Giger monster, and from 2:14 to 2:33 it cranks out pre-perforated sheets of ravioli:
I can't afford either of these bad boys, but I do live two blocks from Little Italy. I know what I'm eating for dinner tonight.