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May 24, 2006 08:46 AM

small pasta machines

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can anyone suggest a small pasta roller? i've never tried searching for one and have resorted to using a rolling pin but it just isn't cutting it to get the type of paper thin pasta i adore.

i just need it to be somewhat reasonably priced and small since i'm running out of room in my kitchen.



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  1. The type in the picture below is pretty good-- and they even sell a motor for this style of roller that eliminates the need to crank. They sell different types of cutters (for ravioli, fettucini, etc....)and you can find them pretty readily at a williams-sonoma, bed, bath and beyond, sur la table kind of place....should be around $30-$40 and the motor about that much additional....


    1 Reply
    1. re: BackyardChef

      I agree with the Atlas recommendation. I've had one for ages and bought one for my mother when her ancient Chinese machine finally wore out. I only use one of the attachments, the narrow noodle cutter. I have the wide noodle cutter and ravioli maker which are still pristine - I prefer to do these by hand.

    2. I second the Atlas recommendation. I've had one for 20 years and it still works as good as ever even after being banged around through several moves.

      As an aside, what do you find so good about fresh pasta? The stuffed pastas (ravioil, manicotti, etc.) I can understand but I always felt that the tatste of fresh pasta wasn't worth the effort of making it and at one time, I made a lot of it.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Scagnetti

        it's more so because i can play with it and i find that making my own can be more convenient (as backwards as that might sound) than having to hunt down some really good pasta that i like and justifying it's cost.

        this way i could make up some chocolate, beet, basil or whatever pasta i felt like. i definitely will be using it for stuffed pastas or even to quickly flatten my dough for dumpling wrappers.

        i haven't met a pasta recipe yet that's completely blown me away... but none of the store-bought stuff i've gotten has done that either.


        1. re: pinstripeprincess

          See, you're more creative than me. I only use mine to make the typical spaghetti and fettucine.

          I've noticed too that fresh pasta does not hold well up to the heavier sauces like bolognese like the dried does.

          1. re: Scagnetti

            Try a lasagna Bolognese and you may become a convert. The thin, thin layers of pasta topped with balsamella & Bolognese sauce is sublime, especially when there are some bits of unsauced pasta that crisp around the edges.

            1. re: Sherri

              Yes yes! lasagne noodles oh-so-thin and plenty of ricotta. Wow your pals with 12 layer lasagne! It's lasagne from another world. You'll never buy boxed lasagne sheets again.

              Did I mention lasagne?? :)

          2. re: pinstripeprincess

            FWIW, I've made pasta from several different recipes and have more or less come up with my own. The one in Deborah Madison's Greens book was an eye-opener however. She harps on keeping the dough drier than you think you should during the kneading and rolling as in the end it makes for a better pasta. I also have learned how to make a small amount just enough for a reasonable meal for two.
            I've also experimented with mixing various types of flour: unbleached white, semolina, whole wheat and whole wheat durum. The semolina and durum make it harder to work but pays off in flavor at the end. Adding various herbs or greens provides more variety as well.
            I also will alternately use a KitchenAid or mix by hand. The pasta machine is great for rolling tho.
            In the end, developing an expertise in getting the flour just so makes it quite worthwhile to make yourself, IMO.

          3. re: Scagnetti

            I don't use my machine to make Italian-style pastas at all, I can buy most of those fairly easily. I make Chinese noodles which are so much better homemade than storebought, there's no comparison. This may be because I grew up eating homemade mein and can't imagine the insipid offerings in the Asian groceries in the same league. I buy readymade noodles for ease and convenience but for a really good noodle dish, I make them myself.

            Don't have a recipe because I have been making these since I could knead dough (standing on a chair to reach the table), but I start with eggs and salt, then add flour until the dough no longer is sticky. It takes a lot of kneading which I now do in my processor instead of by hand.

            1. re: Scagnetti

              Fresh pasta is really best when it's served with light, fresh sauces. I absolutely love it with fresh pesto (in season), a lemony seafood sauce or shrimp with garlic, or something like asparagus and cream. Fresh lasagne noodles make an exceptional lasagne. Heavier tomato or meat sauces overwhelm the delicate taste and texture of fresh pasta, in my opinion.

              I used to make my own pasta with one of those cranky gizmos but I found a local place that makes outstanding fresh pasta that's as good as anything I can make myself. The packaged "fresh" pasta isn't worth getting. If that's the only alternative, you're better off with a good quality dried.

              1. re: Nyleve

                Hi Nyleve,

                One brilliant exception to the light sauces with fresh pasta rule: Marcella's sausage and pepper sauce with pappardelle. At least try it once...


            2. If you've got a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, you may want to look at the pasta attachments for it. Makes storage a bit easier.

              3 Replies
              1. re: jbird

                And, of course, if you have the mixer, you also have the motor.

                1. re: jbird

                  I second the Kitchenaid solution, It's torquey enough to work any dough. Storage is simple as the roller and cutter set is actually smaller than an Atlas.

                  I used to use an Atlas, but it always seemed to need three hands to make a large sheet of pasta. The motor unit is not cheap and only does that. I was able to use my makita cordless drill to drive it but it was tough to regulate the speed.

                  1. re: jbird

                    We have an Atlas but we never use it. We much much prefer the Kitchenaid attachment which is powerful, fast, and easy for one person to handle. It is small and easy to store.

                  2. I love our Imperia.
                    Simple to use and makes nice thin pasta sheets.

                    Cheap at Honest Ed's in the basement.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Mila

                      an around the corner solution! i love it.

                      i'll go take a peek at it soon.