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Jan 5, 2006 01:08 PM

The BEST Manual Pasta Maker

  • t

Hi all: Why is there such a wide price differential? Does a $60 pasta maker yield better pasta than a $16 one? Does anyone have a manual pasta maker they love and what kind is it?

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  1. The more expensive manual pasta makers offer smoother performance and less effort on the part of the user, so yes, they are generally worth the time. However, in my opinion you should either roll your pasta out by hand or use an electric roller, such as the Kitchenaid attachment. It is much better to have the automation.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JudiAU

      My Atlas handcranked machine was the first Christmas gift I got from my father-in-law, and the following year he gave me a motor attachment. I at first refused to bother with the rather mickeymouse-looking power device, but when I finally did try it I was hooked: all of a sudden I had TWO hands to manage the dough as it both went into and came out of the rollers, instead of trying to handle the feed and crank at the same time. Were I starting anew I might opt for the KitchenAid attachment, but the Atlas is a sturdy, simple device that I can certainly recommend.

    2. p

      I have used an Atlas manual machine for years and it is so easy to use that I have never purchased the pasta attachment for my KitchenAid. Also, some years ago a client of mine gave me a wonderful, antique manual machine when her husband died (she was a war bride) and she was forced to move back to her native Italy. It is fun to use now and then but my Atlas is always my go-to appliance. I have a wooden pasta drying rack, too, and it works great, but does take up space to store.

      3 Replies
      1. re: pilotgirl210

        When my in-laws gave me my Atlas machine - they were importing them for a while - they also sent along a folding drying rack they were selling. My mother-in-law, a very droll French woman, had suggested the name they were marketing the rack under: Boris Pastarack!

        As it folded it didn't take much space to store, but it was still too big to go in a drawer, and so it had to live in the gap between my Hoosier cabinet and its alcove wall...which meant I always had to dust the cobwebs off thoroughly every time I used it, which was usually no more often than once a month.

        1. re: Will Owen

          LOL....mine is stashed away in the bottom of a guest coat closet. And I, too, have to clean my rack off because I don't have as much time to make my own pasta as I used to and it tends to collect dust. Besides, in the old days you couldn't buy *fresh* pasta in the meat or produce departments as you can today so I made more of my own. It always comes down to time versus money, doesn't it??

          1. re: pilotgirl210

            For me, it comes down to the fact that any supermarket nowadays has a huge selection of high-quality artisanal (or semi-artisanal) pasta for cheaper than I can make it anyway. If I want a flavored pasta I can't buy, or if I just want to do a batch of good oldfashioned fat yellow egg noodles, that's about the only time I dig out the machine. As for the rack, I put it in the yard sale when we left Nashville - the air is so dry here the stuff dries just fine spread out on the table.

      2. s

        I love my Atlas and I have a small electric motor that attaches to it which makes it all the better since it frees your hands to feed and catch the pasta. The motor was made by Pasta-Ezee and I've had it a very long time so don't know if it is still available.

        2 Replies
        1. re: suzannapilaf

          I also have the motor and I'm pretty sure they're still being sold, but do shop around. Candy mentions that they listed for $60 a number of years ago and I remember that too, but I paid a fair amount less than that (~$40-45?) around that time by waiting and keeping my eyes open.

          If you'll usually have help around when you use the machine, the motor really is really superfluous. But if you use it by yourself, it solves the lack-of-a-third-hand problem. It's also heavy enough to hold down the machine without screwing it to a counter lip, assuming your counters have one (mine don't, I had to use it on the dining room table.LOL) And given the high cost of the KitchenAid attachment, it doesn't seem so bad.

          But get the machine itself first. You may find you don't really have any need for the motor after all - I didn't get mine until I'd had the machine a couple of years and managed to get along just fine, if slightly annoyed on occasion. ;)

          1. re: MikeG

            I agree. I used to make pasta with my kids and when they were gone I kind of stopped making it. Then I found the motor my Mom had given me and that got me back into making it since dh can't eat wheat but spelt is OK. All in all, it speeds up the process if you are on your own, but isn't really necessary. I'm looking forward to my granddaughter getting old enough to turn the crank!

        2. I like Ampia's and Atlas'. I have never bothered with a motor. The advantage to the Atlas over the Ampia is the changable heads which the ampia soes not have. You can cut spaghetti, fettucini or flat sheets oll of which can be adjusted for thickenss. After I got the Ampia as a wedding gift I was so glad I did not have to roll it out by hand with a pin any more I was happy an dnever thought about a motor. When I sold the thigs we would special order the motors but did not stock them in the shop. That was about 15 years ago and they cost clost to $60.00 at the time.

          1. thanks very much! i don't have a kitchen aid and liked the idea of making pasta as a group activity, so i'm going to go ahead and purchase an atlas i think.