The best pasta maker
Whether you like it with a tomato-based sauce, garlic and oil, or just a little butter, pasta is a food that seems to please almost everyone. For the best taste, though, making your pasta from scratch is a must, which means that you need the right pasta maker to get the job done. A pasta maker rolls out your dough and then cuts it into several classic pasta shapes and sizes so you can avoid the time-consuming task of preparing it by hand.
Take a look at our convenient buying guide for all the tips you need to find the best pasta maker for your countertop. We've also included specific product recommendations, such as our top choice from Marcato, which has an electric motor for incredibly easy pasta-making.
Considerations when choosing pasta makers
Manual vs. electric
Pasta makers are available in two main styles:
Manual pasta makers have a hand-crank on the side that powers the machine. When the dough is fed through, you manually turn the crank to roll it out. Once the dough is rolled out, you feed it through the cutting attachment, which cuts the dough into traditional pasta shapes. Manual machines are usually more durable, but they require more time and hands-on effort to make your pasta.
Electric pasta makers have a similar design, but instead of a manual crank, they feature a motor. The motor draws the dough through the machine to roll it out and then pulls it through the cutting attachment to cut the dough into shape. An electric pasta maker offers much easier pasta-making than a manual model, but this type typically doesn't last as long, because the motor can break down over time.
All pasta makers are fairly large countertop appliances, but there's some variation in terms of how much space they take up. Most models are approximately 18 inches wide, though you can find some makers that are slightly smaller and some that are somewhat larger. For easier storage, opt for a maker with a detachable handle and clamp, so you don't need as much space in your cabinet.
When you choose a pasta maker, you want to be sure that it can make the types of pasta that you're most interested in. Roller-style pasta makers can usually only make flat types of pasta, such as spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine, angel hair, tagliatelle, and lasagna. For other types of pasta like ravioli, you may need to buy separate attachments.
Some pasta makers include accessories that can assist with your pasta-making process or allow you to make additional types of pasta. Many makers come with a recipe book that not only provides a recipe for pasta dough but also for sauces to accompany the pasta you make. Other makers include a tray and rolling pin for making ravioli, so you don't have to purchase them separately.
Pasta maker prices
Pasta makers usually range from $20 to $200. Manual models typically cost between $20 and $80, while electric makers can range from $70 to $200.
Q. What ingredients do I need for pasta dough?
A. One of the best things about making homemade pasta is that the dough couldn't be simpler to make. You only need flour, eggs, and salt -- and you don't even have to mix the ingredients in a bowl either. Make a mound with the flour on a cutting board, create a well in the center to add the eggs, sprinkle in a pinch of salt, and use a fork to gently mix the eggs into the flour until the dough forms.
Q. Do I have to cook fresh pasta immediately after making it?
A. You can cook fresh pasta right after you make it, but you can save it for later, too. Allow the noodles to dry for one to two minutes, lightly dust them with flour to prevent them from sticking together, and then loosely fold them into piles. Let the piles dry for another half hour before wrapping them in plastic and storing them in the fridge for up to two days. You can also keep fresh pasta in the freezer for up to two weeks.
Pasta makers we recommend
Best of the best: Marcato Atlas Electric Pasta Maker With Motor Set
Our take: Electric motor allows for hands-free operation that makes this the easiest to operate and most convenient pasta maker on the market.
What we like: Features durable nickel- and chrome-plated steel construction. Motor offers two different speeds. Provides nine different dough thickness options. Includes recipes in the instruction booklet. Makes three different pasta types but can be outfitted with cutting accessories that allow for other options, too.
What we dislike: Some users report rare issues with motor failure.
Best bang for your buck: Imperia Titania 150 Pasta Maker
Our take: An affordable, easy-to-use pasta maker that features extremely high-quality construction, making it a serious value.
What we like: Features solid steel construction and wooden handle. Sturdy table clamp keeps the machine in place. Allows you to choose from multiple thicknesses when rolling out the dough. Compatible with other attachments and accessories to make a variety of pasta types.
What we dislike: Doesn't offer as many thickness options as other pasta makers.
Choice 3: Meglio Traditional-Style Pasta Maker
Our take: An ideal option for home cooks who are new to making fresh pasta because the plastic interior keeps the price down while performing well.
What we like: Features durable stainless steel exterior. Rollers can be adjusted for multiple thicknesses. Offers a C-clamp to secure the machine to your counter or table.
What we dislike: Some users have issues with durability. Doesn't always cut noodles completely.
Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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