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Jes rolling in dough: Choosing a pasta maker

November 28, 2012

My “friends” signed me up to play on their club soccer team for the season. Don’t they know that they only conditioning I’ve been doing is working on stretching my stomach out for the holidays? Anyways, it has awakened an intense hunger for carbs. What better way to sate the beast than with pasta?

Making your own pasta will require a little more than opening a box and reading the side of it for the “al dente” time, but it is worth it. The first big decision to make is to decide what kind of pasta machine will work for you.

I’m a total control freak, so the hand crank model was a given for me. If you have a Kitchen Aid mixer, you’ve probably seen all their attachments that can turn that baby into a total multi-tasker. It’s motorized and will set up higher than a traditional pasta machine clamped to your counter tops. Whatever you decide, make sure what you buy is made in Italy and contains all-metal parts. Nothing more frustrating than buying something that has plastic parts on it that break and are next to impossible to replace.

Price is another important aspect of purchasing an appliance. The KitchenAid attachments will set you back 200 bucks, while the hand crank models range from 30-100. Try to refrain from buying the cheapest model, you damn cheapskate. Or buying the most expensive, you yuppie bastard. Find one that works for you and buy it because that is what you want, don’t base it solely on its price.

I like to hear what other people have to say about their purchases before I take the dive. It’s easier to have someone else make decisions for you sometimes. I usually check Chow’s discussion boards and read reviews on Amazon to get a better idea of what would work for me.

I decided on the Marcato Atlas Wellness 150 Pasta Maker because it was in the middle on price and I didn’t need one that had a ton of attachments or folded my clothes for me.

You always have a third option: hand-rolled pasta. I did that … once. Pissed off and covered with flour, I signed into my Amazon account and bought a machine to do it for me. You can decide whether or not you want minions in your kitchen.

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From → Pasta Maker

5 Comments
  1. I was very interested in this post, as we are looking at getting a Kitchen Aid mixer sometime in the near future and wondering which attachments might be useful and which might be better off as a stand alone appliance. I’m definitely going to check out the links for the discussion boards to see what others are saying. By the way, I have also done the handmade pasta by rolling and cutting. . . once. After that I started buying the frozen or refrigerated versions.

    • It really is a pain in the ass to roll out the dough, isn’t it? I bought my KitchenAid mixer last year during Cyber Monday on Amazon and got it for a steal, so shop around before you buy. A friend of mine said she uses the ice cream attachment quite a bit. Since I already had an ice cream maker, I didn’t get it. Good luck!

      • I checked out the discussion board and saw some people complaining about burning up motors on the lower end Kitchen Aid mixers when making bread dough. Have you had any issues, and which model do you have?

      • I have the Pro 600 series, and since it’s quite the beast, I haven’t had trouble with it. I’ve done marshmallows in it before, high speed for 15 minutes, and the motor does get hot. I think that since the pasta attachment isn’t as taxing as high speed for an extended amount of time, you should be okay. I’d check out some reviews of the attachment on Amazon too (there’s 350+ reviews on it currently). There’s always going to be people that love/hate a product, so sometimes it’s hard to take the plunge and pick a side. If you’re uneasy about it, and you’ve got an extra pair of hands in the kitchen, you might want to look at the hand crank models. There’s even some motorized ones out there (Atlas makes one).

      • Thanks for the inside information. :)

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