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|#1||Philips Pasta Maker – Avance Collection|
|#2||Gourmia GPM100 Electric PastaMazing|
|#3||Gourmia GPM630 One Touch|
|#4||Espressione-DeLonghi of Italy|
|#5||Lello Pro Pastamaster|
Both manual and electric pasta makers have been on the market for some time now, greatly easing the process of making pasta at home. There are a few basic types of pasta maker. The major types are roller, which rolls dough into sheets, and extruder, which mixes and kneads the dough and pushes out the pasta in shapes.
What to look for when buying one?
Early electric extruders were often poorly manufactured, but today there are many high quality units on the market. Which type of machine will best match a cook’s needs is a very personal matter.
Pasta making is heavy work, and machines come in varying degrees of capacity and strength, so the volume one intends to produce and the frequency of use should be taken into consideration, as well as versatility, storage, and ease of use.
Most pasta makers are somewhat finicky about dough recipes. Cooks who are interested in making flavored, gluten free, or whole wheat pastas, or have little to no experience making pasta, should pay careful attention to a machine’s versatility. Basic recipes, designed to fit each model, are included in the packaging.
Some models come with a lot more options than others for how you want your pasta shaped. So if you think you’re going to want variety then you might want to get a more complex one.
If you have a particular recipe that you know you’re going to want to make then make sure it has that option. For example you will want macaroni if you’re going to make mac and cheese. Or cannelloni might be a favorite in your house.
Look at how easy they are to clean. Some models come with a special cleaning device to help you clean the attachments easily, so this would be a good feature to find.
Also think about how you are going to store it, or whether you will keep it out on the counter. You might want to keep it out at least at first, so that you can get used to using it. You might also want to look for one that has a storage drawer for the attachments, so that it stays together and they don’t get lost.
Compare how much pasta you can make with how much you think you’ll need. But also bear in mind, that with faster machines you can probably make several batches in a short amount of time. So it might not be a big deal.
5 Highest Reviewed Automatic Pasta Makers
This review considers electric extruder type pasta makers, which mix and knead the ingredients prior to extruding pasta through a disc which shapes the pasta as it releases it.
Philips says that the Avance it is the top rated pasta maker in Italy. It’s also Amazon’s Choice for pasta makers, and Philips certainly makes some of the most popular pasta makers in the US.
The Philips Avance is fast. It is so fast that some highly experienced pasta cooks turn it off for a few minutes after the dough mixing cycle to allow the dough to rest, although this isn’t necessary for producing a fine batch of pasta on the first try.
This machine is unusually versatile in what doughs it can mix, and it blends, kneads, and extrudes very efficiently. It comes with a thorough recipe book, which includes recipes for Asian noodles such as udon.
The Avance comes with four disks for cutting pasta, and one can choose from many other accessories. The included discs tend to cut thicker pasta than European style, but cooks work around this by carefully choosing their accessories. Clean up is simple.
The Philips company is very responsive to customer inquiries, and provides replacement parts and service center locations for machine malfunctions, which are rare.
- Can exert 1600 lbs of force
- Versatile about dough types
- Includes Asian recipes (Udon)
- Very fast
- The top may be breakable
The Gourmia GPM100 PastaMazing is not Gourmia’s first, or only, electric pasta extruder. It is quick from start to finish, and comes with 6 discs. A quiet, light weight, plastic machine, the PastaMazing kneads efficiently, although there are some reports of difficulty with the extrusion process.
This may be due to using recipes that the Gourmia is not equipped to handle. The included recipe is somewhat confusing, and the machine itself features metric measurements, for which some customers may not be equipped.
The PastaMazing is intended for light household use. It is not designed to handle large batches of pasta or extended pasta making sessions. Misunderstanding its capacity may account for the reports of breakage or machine failure.
The Gourmia’s one bowl process ensures easy clean up, and it is light enough to store in a cupboard. Gourmia’s customer service is excellent and responsive, and returns are simple.
- 5 minute processing
- 6 attachments
- All-in-one mixing
- Construction is not sturdy enough for heavy use
Gourmia’s One Touch is a heavier duty pasta machine than the PastaMazing, and has several unusual features. This device comes with 13 discs, and can make sausage as well as pasta.
The One Touch may be the right pasta maker for a customer that wants a mid-duty machine for weekly or monthly household use. The construction is stronger than that of the PastaMazing, and the variety of accessories included make for fun experimenting.
One peculiarity about the One Touch, which will likely be corrected soon, is that the pasta recipe on the machine (which uses metric measurements) does not match the recipe in the included booklet. Guessing about the exact measurements of a pasta recipe can be problematic for less experienced cooks, and likely accounts for reports of difficulty with mixing or extrusion.
As noted above, Gourmia provides excellent customer service and easy returns.
- works for whole wheat and gluten free recipes
- easy to use
- 13 discs
- Also makes sausage
- Confusing recipe guide
Italian made, the Espressione DeLonghi MX 700 pasta machine is also called the Simac MX 700. Somewhat less well known than its counterparts in the US, the MX 700 is a well built, mid duty machine with a flour shield to reduce mess.
The DeLonghi Company has long been a standard in Italian kitchen equipment (particularly espresso machines) and is known for its craftsmanship. DeLonghi is easy to contact and provides excellent customer service.
The MX 700 comes with 7 discs, and many more are available separately. DeLonghi discs are also interchangeable with several other brands of pasta machine. This is a well-built mid weight machine, suited for regular use but not huge volumes of pasta at one time. While not difficult to use, the MX 700 is an instrument made for the serious gourmet.
The instructions and advice that come with the MX 700 are unparalleled. The machine has had no reported issues with jamming, or failure to mix. There are no reports of machine failure. Italian manufacturing is considered the gold standard in pasta machines, and the MX 700 lives up to this reputation.
- Auto or manual
- 7 attachments
- Shields panel from flour build-up
- Running time limited to 20 minutes
The Lello Pro Pastamaker is a work horse of a pasta machine, capable of producing 3 lbs of pasta in half an hour. Unsurprisingly given its capacity, the Lello Pro is loud, large, and heavy. This is a terrific machine for the cook who will make large batches of pasta frequently, or even for a small cafe.
The Lello handles mixing and extruding dough with ease. Made for semiprofessional needs, the Lello can be finicky about dough. It comes with 6 durable plastic discs, and does not sell any extras. However, Lello machines are cross compatible with DeLonghi products. Lello offers excellent customer service, and its instruction manuals are clear and accurate.
- Can process 3 lbs of pasta in 30 minutes
- 300 watts
- Solid construction
- No additional accessories
Brief Guide to Buying an Automatic Pasta Maker
What Is It?
An automatic pasta maker both mixes the dough and shapes it, which takes a lot of the work out of making your own pasta. You can simply put the ingredients in, and it does the rest. It is very quick, and most pasta makers do it in 5 to 15 minutes.
You choose what kind of shape you want the pasta to be, and change the attachment accordingly. The standard shapes are lasagne, fettucini, spaghetti and penne. But some models come with a vast array of options like cannelloni, tagliatelle, linguine, and tortellini.
Automatic Pasta Makers usually come with a recipe book and measuring cups to help you get the right amount of ingredients. Some also come with a sausage maker, and a way of making dumplings too – so that there are even more possible meals you can make.
They often have a safety feature which means that it will stop if the lid isn’t on properly. This is good, as you don’t want kids putting their hands in or other things getting in there that shouldn’t while it’s running.
You usually would add the flour first, with the lid off. Then put the lid back on and gradually add the liquid while it’s mixing. Once it’s fully mixed and ready it starts extruding the pasta out in whatever shape you asked it to. So you just need to put a bowl underneath to catch it and away you go.
Who Can Benefit?
Fresh pasta is really good served with delicate sauces such as Fettuccine Alfredo or Carbonara. When there is a milder flavour, you pay more attention to the texture and flavour of the pasta. So homemade pasta will really stand out.
Making your own pasta also means you can experiment and try new things. You can add different vegetables or vegetable juices to the mix, like chilli or beetroot. You can also add different colors to suit the occasion – such as red and green for Christmas. Or orange and black for Halloween. And you can add other ingredients like eggs and herbs.
If you or someone in your family is gluten free, then this is a great way of making your own customized pasta that tastes great.
If you love the pasta you get at restaurants, but not so much the dried pasta you normally buy, then this would help you come to a great compromise. It will give you great tasting fresh pasta like a restaurant, but without having to spend the money to eat out all the time. And it is a lot faster than making your own pasta completely by hand.
What To Avoid?
Don’t get a cheap model without checking the reviews. You can end up with one that’s very noisy and doesn’t do a good job if you’re not careful.
Can you store the pasta you make in there?
Yes you can. You can store it for a few days in the refrigerator. You can freeze it. You can also get hangers which you can use to hang it to dry, and then it will store for a long time.
Can I make gluten free pasta?
Yes you can – in fact that’s why many people buy these machines. Though it can be tricky to find a recipe that you’re happy with.
Do you have to use egg?
No, usually you can make the pasta with or without egg.
How noisy are the machines?
Most users say they are about as noisy as a kitchen mixer, and not too bad.
Do you have to clean the pasta maker between batches, if you are doing several at once?
It probably depends on the machine, and what the instructions say. However there are certainly some models which you don’t have to clean in between, so long as you don’t do more than three batches in a row.
Can I use it to make sausage?
There are some models that you can use to make sausage, but not all. Generally you can’t, unless it specifically says that you can.
Are they easy to clean?
Most users say they are very easy to clean – you can either wipe them down with soap and water, or stick the parts in the dishwasher.
Will buying this machine save me money?
Store bought pasta is very cheap, so it probably won’t save you money. But the quality, taste and texture is far better. On the other hand, if you go to Italian restaurants to eat fresh pasta then it might save you money. You can eat the same great pasta at home, without the costs of a meal out.
Can you control the thickness of the pasta?
You can do this by using a different attachment.
Time to cook!
Pasta Machines can be a critical piece of equipment in a cook’s arsenal of kitchen gadgets, eliminating the time consumption, physical difficulty, and mess involved in making pasta entirely by hand. Few other kitchen gadgets elicit as much fierce opinion. The wise cook will take their own needs into account when choosing.
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