Hand Crank Pasta Makers
Some people want to be old school and crank out their pasta by hand. I must warn you that this is a pretty daunting task, but if you’re looking for a good workout, you won’t be disappointed! It’s also helpful to have a friend, but I think the same would be true with an electric one also.
So these machines all basically look the same. The biggest difference is going to be quality, which will obviously be higher with one made in Italy. Marcato Atlas and Imperia (owned by Cucina Pro) are both brands that are made in Italy. The Atlas machine is pretty widely distributed, and you can also find different attachments for it, like a ravioli maker or a motor. 😉 Roma is a less expensive brand made in China.
Electric Pasta Makers
There are many brands of electric pasta makers on the market, none of which I have any personal experience with using or selling. The good news, however, is that you can utilize the information I do know about the Kitchen Aid pasta attachments and make an educated decision, as by looking at them you can deduce what style of pasta maker they are – a rolling/cutting system, or an extruder.
A true rolling and cutting system is more like the traditional hand crank pasta maker. A pasta extruder is figuratively pushing a ball of pasta dough through shaped holes in a disc like Play-Doh. The first method is going to be the best way to do it, but with the extruder method you can get shaped noodles like macaroni.
Kitchen Aid Attachments
Roller – This is the basic pasta roller to flatten out your dough for lasagna noodles or to cut into noodles after rolling it out.
Cutters – Kitchen Aid sells a variety of different size pasta cutters for use after rolling your pasta dough out. Please note that if you buy cutters individually you will also need to purchase a roller.
- **Angel Hair Cutter – All capellini noodles, like spaghetti
- Thick Noodle Cutter – Lasagnette noodles like fettuccine or egg noodles
**I get very annoyed that they use all of their pasta terms so interchangeably. It makes it extremely difficult for both employees in stores as well as the end consumers to know exactly what they need. I have seen sets other than these available to order in retail stores, as well, so don’t believe everything you see on the Kitchen Aid website to be all there is!
- Thin=Capellini=Spaghetti=Angel Hair
- Thick=Lasagnette=Fettuccine=Egg Noodles
Sets – There are a few different sets you can buy, most of which include a roller and some combination of cutters. There is one set that doesn’t include the roller, so beware if you don’t already have one.
- Pasta Excellence Set – Includes the pasta roller, ravioli maker, and capellini, lasagnette, fettuccine, and spaghetti cutters
- Pasta Roller & Cutter Set – Includes the pasta roller, fettuccine and spaghetti cutters
- Pasta Cutter Set – **NO ROLLER** Includes lasagnette (fettuccine & egg noodles) and capellini cutters (spaghetti & angel hair)
Food Grinder/Pasta Plates – I believe that with the advent of the Pasta Extruder that Kitchen Aid has discontinued production on the pasta plate set that you used to be able to buy to go with your Food Grinder attachment. It was a set of 5 discs with different noodle shapes for about $30.
Gourmet Pasta Press – This is a big step above the Pasta Plates you can get for the Food Grinder attachment. There are 6 pasta plates, and you can actually make spaghetti and bucatini pastas, along with your short noodles. It also has a conveniently attached storage piece for the plates you aren’t utilizing.
Ravioli Attachment – This is a large attachment that will really help you make a lot of ravioli at once. It seems like this would be easier to do with a friend’s assistance!
Hand Tools & Accessories for Pasta Making
Pasta Cutting Hand Tool – There are a few different pasta cutters you can find to use for hand-cutting your lasagna noodles. Typically it will look like a small pizza cutter, with either one straight blade, or else also have a second blade that is crimped.
Ravioli Trays – There are many varieties of ravioli trays for making them by hand with your freshly made noodles. Generally the base piece will be plastic and the piece that shapes and cuts them is metal.
Ravioli Cutter – A metal crimping wheel to make ‘free-form’ ravioli shapes however your heart desires!
Ravioli Stamps – A ravioli stamp is a simpler version of a ravioli tray, and it is figuratively a circle or square with a handle so you can stamp out individual raviolis.
Pasta Drying Racks – If you’re not eating your pasta right away, you’re probably going to want to dry it to store for later use. You can find basic wooden racks like this one from Atlas. Atlas and Kitchen Aid both make a plastic rack with rotating arms.