A pasta machine allows you to create fresh pasta without having to form noodles by hand with a knife and a rolling pin.
While making fresh pasta can be more difficult than cooking dried fettuccine or spaghetti from a box, it’s definitely worth the extra effort and not as hard as you may think. Fresh pasta is rich, tender, and delicious. Plus, you can customize the texture and taste of your noodles using different ingredients.
Fortunately, pasta makers don’t take up much counter space and are easy to use. Here are some of the most common types of pasta makers and some excellent options for making fresh pasta:
Using a Manual Pasta Maker Is Simple
Learning how to operate most manual pasta makers is easy. They work with a crank, and you can use them to customize the shapes and sizes of your pasta strands.
One of the most popular models is the CucinaPro Deluxe Pasta Maker. It uses high-quality chrome steel covered in aluminum, and it’s compact and affordable.
This pasta machine is simple to use, and it has seven thickness settings for your noodles. It also comes with three attachments to help you create:
- Angel hair pasta
This pasta maker also comes with a cleaning tool and a clamp to help it stay in place while you use it on your counter.
An Electric Pasta Maker Saves Time & Effort
If you’d like a pasta machine that does even more of the work for you, consider the Phillips Avance Collection Pasta Maker. While this pasta maker is costly, it does come with lots of convenient features.
For example, this machine mixes and kneads the dough for you. Then, it uses its motor to work the pasta through the machine automatically. After you add the ingredients and press the start button, you can have fresh pasta in as little as 10 minutes.
This pasta machine is dishwasher safe, and it comes with shaping discs for:
Other features include a:
- Cleaning tool
- Recipe booklet
- Measuring cup
- Storage drawer for accessories
Since the Phillips pasta machine is on the pricey side, a less expensive but just as useful option is the Hamilton Beach Electric Pasta and Noodle Maker. It also kneads dough, produces pasta automatically, and is dishwasher safe.
While it doesn’t come with a cutting tool for the pasta, pasta shaping discs are included for:
- Angel hair pasta
- Thick spaghetti
- Thinner spaghetti
- Wide noodles
The Hamilton Beach Electric Pasta and Noodle Maker also comes with a:
- Large mixing bowl for big batches
- Storage drawer for the pasta discs
- Cleaning tool
If You Already Have a Stand Mixer, All You Need Is a Pasta Attachment
After you attach it to the front of your mixer, it can create 6-in. pasta sheets using the motor in your stand mixer. The Pasta Roller has eight thickness settings, and you can also use it to make other dishes, like dumplings.
Just be aware that this attachment is usually less costly than buying an entire electric pasta machine, but it’s more expensive than most manual devices.
And if you don’t want to cut your pasta by hand, you can choose pasta cutters for:
For even more versatility, you can select the KitchenAid Gourmet Pasta Press. This accessory can make more pasta shapes than the Pasta Roller and is easy to store when you don’t have it attached to your stand mixer.
The Pasta Press comes with a wire internal pasta cutter and pasta discs for making:
- Small macaroni
- Large macaroni
You Can Make Vegetable Pasta With a Spiralizer
If you’re hosting dinner for guests and someone attending has a gluten allergy, you can use a spiralizer to make gluten-free pasta from vegetables. A spiralizer lets you make pasta and other noodles from many types of vegetables, including squash and zucchini.
The OXO Tabletop Spiralizer looks similar to a manual pasta machine. After you insert a vegetable, you turn a hand crank to cut it into noodle-shaped strips. The stainless steel blades can help you make spaghetti or fettuccine.
There’s a suction cup on the bottom and a handle to apply pressure with one hand while you crank with the other. That way, you can keep this spiralizer in place while you use it.
This spiralizer comes with a storage container for the blades, and it’s dishwasher safe.
A Pasta Machine Means Versatile, Fresh Meals at Home
With a manual or electric pasta machine, or an attachment for your KitchenAid stand mixer, you can make many types of fresh pasta to create unique, flavorful dishes.