Learn About Pasta Machines

Author: Chef Toby

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What is a pasta machine?

A pasta machine is a kitchen tool used to make pasta from scratch. There are a variety of different kinds, both manual and automatic. 

How does a pasta machine work? 

Pasta machines work by flattening pasta dough in between two metal rollers. The distance between the two rollers can be adjusted, which helps to control the thickness of the pasta dough. The dough moves in between the rollers either manually with a crank or automatically. When making pasta with the pasta maker, it is customary to start with the thickest setting and move to the thinner settings as you go along.

What are the types of pasta machines?

Manual Crank Pasta Machine 

The type of pasta machine that we use is a manual pasta machine. These machines are the smallest and least expensive type of machines, but they work very well and are great for home cooks. This machine consists of a base, an adjustment dial, and a crank to move the pasta through the rollers. They sometimes also include attachments that cut the pasta into noodles. This type of pasta machine works well for sheet pasta like lasagna, stuffed pasta like tortellini and ravioli, and flat noodles like fettuccine, pappardelle, and linguine. 

manual crank pasta machine

Electric Pasta Machine

There are many different types of electric pasta machines and typically range anywhere from $100-$500 dollars. Electric machines work the same way the manual ones do, except they include a motor instead of a crank that feeds the pasta through the motors.

There are also other pasta machines that mix the dough and extrude the pasta. These extruding pasta machines are great for long-strand pasta shapes like spaghetti or angel hair. 

electric pasta machine

Stand Mixer Attachment Pasta Machine 

If you have a stand mixer at home, there are attachments you can purchase that allow you to turn the mixer into an automatic pasta machine. These attachments include two rollers and a dial at the end to adjust the thickness of the dough. 

How do you make fresh pasta?

Pasta Recipe

  1. To make fresh pasta dough, add your flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, creating a large well. To the well, add in your eggs and olive oil.
  2. Starting off with a fork, break apart the egg yolks and whisk the egg. Begin to incorporate some of the flour into your egg mixture, starting off with your fork and then moving to clean hands as the dough starts to form.
  3. Once fully incorporated, form the dough into a disk, cover in plastic wrap and let it chill for 30 minutes. 

How do I use a manual pasta machine?

Once your dough has rested, separate it into 6 equal parts. With a rolling pin, flatten it slightly, so that it fits into the widest setting on your pasta machine. Roll the pasta through the machine twice through that setting, making sure that your pasta is nicely floured to prevent sticking. Tightening the roller two settings, pass the pasta through two times. Repeat this step until your pasta reaches your desired thinness. Once your pasta sheets are ready, this is the time to be creative! Cut your pasta into your desired noodle shape or stuff it with your favorite filling.

In this video, Chef Toby makes fresh pasta dough from scratch

What are some recipes using a Pasta Machine?

Spinach and Cheese Ravioli 

We have a delicious recipe for spinach and cheese ravioli that is easy to make and only requires a few ingredients. Get the full recipe video, instructions, and more here

Spinach and Cheese Ravioli
Kids Are Great Cooks Homemade Spinach and Cheese Ravioli

Sausage Ragu with Pappardelle 

To make pappardelle, cut the pasta sheets into ¾ inch thick noodles. In a frying pan, cook sweet Italian sausage until brown and set aside. In the rendered pan drippings, add in onion and garlic, sauteing until soft. Add in a can of crushed tomatoes, basil, thyme, the sausage, and simmer on low. Cook your pasta in boiling salted water for three minutes or until tender. Transfer the pasta into the sauce and stir to combine. Serve with parmesan cheese

Cheese Tortellini 

Using the pasta sheets, make cheese tortellini! Using a round cookie cutter, cut rounds of pasta. To the center, add a small dollop of a ricotta cheese filling. Add water to the edges of the pasta and fold it in half to make a half-moon. Pinch the corners of the tortellini to create the shape, and place on a floured baking sheet. Boil your tortellini until tender and serve with your favorite sauce. 

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