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Pasta as we know it has been around for nearly 1,000 years, and there's a reason: it's delicious. But while most people consider fresh pasta to be something you get at a restaurant, it's surprisingly easy (and quick!) to make your own at home. All you need is some flour, egg, salt, water, and a few simple tools to get a pasta dough going.
After that? You'll want a pasta maker. While making the dough is easy, getting it into the form you know and love can be a little trickier. That's where the pasta maker comes in. Here are the most popular pasta makers available today, including spiralizers for "pasta" alternatives like veggie noodles.
While there are cheaper pasta makers out there, the Marcato Atlas 150 is well-reviewed (82 percent five-star reviews on Amazon out of over 1,400 reviews) and stylish, coming in several different colors. It comes with the attachment for producing spaghetti and fettuccine, though you can purchase other attachments if you want to move beyond the standards.
It's worth noting that this is a fully manual pasta maker, which can take some getting used to if you're used to seeing chefs whip pasta dough through an automatic pasta maker on your favorite food shows. There's also an optional motor attachment if you want to speed things up, though for the price we recommend going with the KitchenAid options below.
The two names in home pasta rollers are Marcato Atlas and CucinaPro Imperia. While not quite as well-reviewed on Amazon as the Marcato Atlas above, the Imperia is equally renowned by experts and slightly cheaper right now. The Imperia covers all the same bases as the Marcato Atlas above, is made from the same materials, and should last just as long. It isn't quite as stylish and isn't available in as many colors, but otherwise both should serve you well for years to come.
It is worth noting that both this and the Atlas have one problem that will bug some people: they're not easy to clean. You can brush off any leftover dried dough or wipe them down, but if you get a bunch of egg or oil in them you'll need to take some time to get them right again since submerging them isn't recommended.
If you already own a KitchenAid stand mixer, this pasta roller and cutter attachment set is a fantastic addition to your kitchen. It hooks onto the multi-purpose power head on the front of the mixer and handles all the heavy lifting of rolling pasta, with two cutting attachments for churning out spaghetti and fettuccine. I've used this one the most and it's very simple to use, though you have to be careful to not get hair or anything loose caught in it. It also can't be submerged in water, so cleaning takes a minute.
The roller and cutter set covers your major bases like spaghetti, fettucine, and lasagnette, but if you want to get serious you could get KitchenAid's "Pasta Excellence" set. It costs almost $400, but nets you the roller and cutter set above as well as a ravioli maker and two more cutters. If you want to make macaroni, then you'll also need the KitchenAid pasta press. It's a bit more of a pain to use, though, since you can only feed in small balls of dough at a time.
Making ravioli at home is one of those things that sounds incredibly difficult, but is actually quite simple as long as you take your time. While you can make them one at a time without any specialized equipment, this affordable ravioli mold keeps things organized. Just lay down your pasta, use the plastic mold to create your indents, add your filling, cover in egg wash, add your bottom layer of pasta, and roll out to finish.
There's not much that's special about the Norpro, except that it's affordable and gets the job done almost as well as molds that cost significantly more. The version without the rolling pin has a 4.5-star rating from over 750 user reviews and it comes with some easy-to-follow instructions. Word to the wise: make sure you spray it down with cooking spray every time you lay down a new sheet, or your dough will get stuck.
The Paderno World Cuisine has over 9,000 user reviews on Amazon and 70 percent of those are five-star reviews. It also was the winner of the latest roundup of spiralizers by the experts at Cook's Illustrated. It doesn't get more highly recommended than that. While this isn't useful for making true pasta, it is useful if you want to make ribbon- or spiral-cut veggie noodles, as well as continuously cut and cored fruits and vegetables.
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