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Best pasta makers: The best pasta machines from KitchenAid, Lakeland and more |

Best pasta makers: The best pasta machines from KitchenAid, Lakeland and more

For most folk a trip to the supermarket is rarely complete without bagging a packet or two of dried pasta, but homemade pasta has a texture and flavour that knocks the socks off the shop-bought stuff. Whipping up your own spaghetti, tagliatelle or lasagne sheets needn’t be an involved process that takes hours on end, though; simply invest in a pasta maker. These machines roll your dough into thin sheets, stretching it and cutting it to size – something that isn’t so easily achieved with a rolling pin and knife alone. Pasta extruders can even mix and knead the dough for you. And if you don’t think you have time to do all this before dinner, fear not: fresh pasta can be stored in the fridge for two or three days or even frozen for up to three months. Scroll down to find out what to look for when buying your pasta maker, as well as a roundup of the best pasta machines you can buy.

How to buy the best pasta maker for you

What types of pasta makers are there?

There are three main types:

Pasta extruders mix and knead the dough, then extrude it through dies that create the pasta shapes – anything from rigatoni to spiral pasta. The electric machines can’t make wide pasta, however. So if you want, say, sheets for lasagne then you’ll need to roll it out by hand or use a pasta rolling machine.

Manual rolling machines don’t prepare the dough for you, but you feed already-made dough through rollers to make it smooth and silky before turning it into pretty much any flat shape you’d like. These include flat sheets for lasagne, squares for ravioli , thin strips for spaghetti, thicker ones for tagliatelle and fettuccine, and so on. They can’t create hollow or elaborate shapes, however.

Electric rolling machines do the same as the manual machines, but instead of using a hand-crank, a motorised attachment does the work for you.

Why do I need a pasta maker?

A pasta extruder takes all the hard work out of making pasta dough. A pasta-rolling machine will flatten your pasta dough evenly and to a precise thickness that’s almost impossible to achieve by any other means.

What features should I look for?

For rolling machines:

  • A good range of thickness settings
  • Different attachments for different kinds of pasta
  • A clamp to fix it to your kitchen table or work surface
  • Smooth action
  • Easy to clean

For extruders:

  • Easy to set up, with clear instructions
  • Quick to create pasta dough from scratch
  • Easy to store, if you’re short on storage space
  • Ability to experiment with different flavours
  • Easy to clean

Is it easy to make homemade pasta?

Once you’ve got the knack, yes, but getting the right consistency may take a few attempts. Your first few goes may result in a crumbly mixture that won’t hold its shape. But persevere – you will get there. Don’t be tempted to blame the pasta maker, though: it can’t do its job unless the consistency of the dough is right.

The best pasta makers you can buy in 2018

1. Imperia Pasta Machine: The best pasta maker you can buy

Price: £70 | Buy now from John Lewis

This Italian brand comes up trumps with this enormously popular machine that clamps easily to the side of your worktop, freeing your hands for feeding the dough through the rollers. The chrome-plated steel machine is beautifully engineered and built to last, with six thicknesses and all the usual suspects when it comes to cutters, including variola, tortellini and spaghetti. We couldn’t believe how simple it is to use, even on the first go. In fact, we kept coming back to it when testing other machines, wondering why on earth they couldn’t be as good. It’s a cinch to clean, too – although be sure not to immerse it in water; it’s wipe-clean only. The only downside is that the guiding tray can be knocked out of place quite easily.

Buy now from John Lewis

Key specs – Dimensions: 12 x 20.5 x 12cm; Type: manual rolling machine; Number of thicknesses: 6; Warranty: 5 years

2. Philips Viva Collection Pasta and Noodle Maker: The best electric pasta maker

Price: £170 | Buy now from Amazon

Electric pasta machines are a different breed because they do all the work for you, including making the dough. We like this one from Philips (which, by the way, is the top-selling pasta-making brand in Italy) because it’s compact and takes just 18 minutes from putting the ingredients into the mixing compartment to give you two to three portions (450g) of delicious pasta (or noodles). No need for mixing, kneading or extrusion – and thanks to the unique stirring bar, the mixing is far more even than some other electric machines on the market. A recipe book is included, so you can experiment with different flavours and colours, and it will cut the dough into four shapes: spaghetti, penne, fettuccine and lasagne. It takes time to pull apart afterwards, and some bits of the main body are tricky to clean, but the supplied brush helps and the parts are at least dishwasher-safe. Be warned, though: the instructions are quite complicated, and it’s absolutely essential to get the measurement of ingredients spot on – or you’ll wind up with pasta that’s too dry or too wet.

Image of Philips HR2332/11 Viva Collection Pasta and Noodle Maker, 150 W

Philips HR2332/11 Viva Collection Pasta and Noodle Maker, 150 W

£187.40 Buy now

Key specs – Dimensions: 35 x 13.5 x 28.7cm; Type: extruder; Number of thicknesses: 4; Warranty: 2 years

3. Lakeland Pasta Maker: The best budget pasta maker

Price: £27 | Buy now from Lakeland

If you haven’t yet dabbled in this Italian-inspired cooking activity, then this is the machine for you. The stainless-steel unit is cheap without being shoddy, and it’s simple to use, with an impressive eight thicknesses to give you fettuccine, tagliatelle and lasagne among other types of pasta. Like the more expensive Imperia, it clamps to your work surface, but this machine is a little bigger. We tried the basic dough recipe that it comes with, then fed it through the rollers at least three times as advised, then did the cutting – and it all went to plan. While it might not be as robust and well-engineered as the more expensive Imperia, it’s a great budget option for creating and cutting smooth, bouncy pasta dough.

Key specs – Dimensions: 22 x 21 x 15cm; Type: manual rolling machine; Number of thicknesses: 8; Warranty: 3 years

4. Marcato Atlas 150: Best pasta maker for smooth rolling action

Price: £55 | Buy now from Amazon

If shiny chrome just isn’t your thing then you’ll be pleased to discover that the Marcato Atlas 150 comes in a range of gorgeous colours. The rolling action was the smoothest of the bunch here, with a fantastically grippy handle and an even and effortless turning mechanism that far exceeds cheaper models – something that Marcato puts down to the “patented anodised aluminium rollers”. Also in its favour is the sheer number of thickness settings (10), which got our dough thinner than any other machine we used. You can buy additional attachments for ravioli and pappardelle, if you feel the two cutters aren’t enough for your culinary needs and replacement handles and clamps are available too – although this pasta maker is so well built we doubt you’ll need it. There’s a motor attachment available for those who prefer a bit of automation. Note that this machine is heavy, and it has a few nooks and crannies that can be tricky to clean.

Image of Marcato Atlas 150 pasta machine Chrome, Silver Wellness

Marcato Atlas 150 pasta machine Chrome, Silver Wellness

£44.00 Buy now

Key specs – Dimensions: 20.3 x 20.3 x 17.8cm; Type: manual/electric rolling machine; Number of thicknesses: 10; Warranty: 10 years

5. KitchenAid 3 Piece Pasta Roller and Cutter Set: Best pasta maker attachment set

Price: £155 | Buy now from Lakeland

You’ll need to own the KitchenAid mixer to make use of this pasta machine, but if you do then we strongly advise you splash out on this Italian-made attachment set with three rollers. Kick off by using your KitchenAid to make your pasta dough – ours came out perfect every time – then attach the roller to create the thickness of pasta you need; there are eight thickness settings on offer. If you adjust the settings, and have the knack, it’s even possible to make angel hair pasta. There are two cutters for making fettuccine or thinner spaghetti; other shapes, such as lasagne and tortellini, is easy enough to cut by hand. A cleaning brush is included, which is all you’ll need to scrape off the dough. Not exactly a budget option, but an exceptionally well-designed and engineered set that will outlive most other pasta makers.

Key specs – Dimensions: N/A; Type: electric rolling machine; Number of thicknesses: 8; Warranty: 3 years

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