I’m not a professional chef by any remote stretch of the imagination. Like most home cooks, I dabble. But I take my dabbling pretty seriously. I’m not going to mess around with inferior kitchen tools, and neither should you. So let’s talk about pasta makers for a minute.
These machines are inexpensive enough to afford for a home kitchen, but not so much that most can afford to try a few till the find one they like. I know I can’t. “Pasta makers” come in several distinct types. And the packaging may not make the difference immediately obvious if you don’t know how to look. Some roll dough and cut it between a pair of bladed rollers and others press the dough though a series of small holes. (A process called extruding.) The rollers are more suited to professional chefs as they tend to be faster and allow for more control than the extruders.
Extruders tend to be motorized and will sometimes pre-mix the dough for you, making them simpler to use. The model of pasta maker I like for my home kitchen is the Lello 2720 Pastamaster 2200. This is an extruder type machine with an internal motor. Not great for the sort of work you might find in an industrial or commercial kitchen but perfect for the average family. It has a 2.2 lbs capacity, which is more than enough pasta for any family to eat in one go. And, my favorite feature, it incorporates a dough mixer.
A built in mixer is extremely rare in pasta makers of any type. Basically, you put in the ingredients, choose a pasta type by inserting the appropriate disk and turn it on. It does all the mixing and extrudes the pasta automatically. You will have to cut, dry, and cook the pasta yourself, but that’s the easy part. I don’t know about you, but I like it when the machines do the hard parts. It saves me time to do other stuff, like cooking sauces and meats and such. Automatic mixing isn’t the only selling point for the Pastamaster. It has significant versatility. It includes 6 extruder disks to make 6 basic pasta types, including Capellini a.k.a. Angel Hair, Spaghetti, Macaroni, Tagliatella, Linguine, and Biscotti (I know, not pasta, but useful!) If that doesn’t suit you there are more than a dozen more disk types sold separately.
I’m fond of the Chitarre, or square spaghetti, myself. Now, I’m not the only person who likes this model. Of all the people who reviewed it on Amazon.com gave it over 80% liked it and, a whopping 51% gave it five stars. So, you know it’s not just me. Admittedly, not everyone is happy with the Pastamaster, but it is hard to argue with the statistics when over half give it the highest possible rating. To sum up, I’m not a professional chef. But I love to cook.
If this description fits you then this is probably the pasta maker for you. You can purchase the Lello 2700 directly from the distributer at http://www.casa.com/p/lello-2720-pastamaster-2200-269041. However, you can probably find a better deal on it from Amazon where I’ve seen prices ranging from $97 to $150.
Best Pasta Makers
This creamy pasta recipe is easy enough to make for weeknight dinners, but it's wonderfully satisfying and satisfyingly healthier than traditional butter-and-cream pasta sauces. Feel free to add additional flavors to taste; a bit of lemon juice and zest can be a wonderfully refreshing addition to both hot and cold ...