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The Best Pasta Makers

Updated on June 26, 2014

Pasta is a beloved food for many, and a stable in my home growing up. My mom had a pasta maker. I remember helping her crank the dough, and then baking it. It was a sweet memory. There is something about making the pasta from scratch that seems to make it better.

The pasta maker has allowed the home chef to make handmade pasta with out the rolling, kneading, cutting that went along with it. I grew up with eight brothers and sisters, so my mom didn't have the time to make homemade pasta without her pasta maker.

I am dedecating this lens to that beloved machine - The Pasta Maker.

Photo found at: http://www.shopgoodwill.com/auctions/Vintage-Antiq...

Making pasta; illustration from the 15th century edition of Tacuinum Sanitatis, a Latin translation of the Arabic work Taqwīm al-sihha by Ibn Butlan
Making pasta; illustration from the 15th century edition of Tacuinum Sanitatis, a Latin translation of the Arabic work Taqwīm al-sihha by Ibn Butlan

History of Pasta.

The origin of pasta is unknown. The first mention of anything remotely like pasta was in the 1st century. The reference was to a type of dough called lagana. Lagana was fried sheets of dough, and they were an everyday staple. The term lagana resurfaced in the 2nd century writing of Athenaeus of Naucratis (who was a Greek rhetorician and grammarian). He gave a recipe of a 1st century dish called lagana. The recipe called for sheets of fine dough and crushed lettuce juice, then flavored with spices and deep-fried. A cookbook from the 5th century has another recipe for lagana. The recipe has layers of thin dough with a meat sauce stuffed between each layer. This could be the predecessor to modern-day lasagna. In a dictionary from around the 9th century a term called itriyya defined as a string-like shapes made of semolina, and then dried before it is cooked. The term reappears in a text compiled for the king of Sicily Roger II. It state that itriyya was made in Norman Sicily, and then exported elsewhere.

Arabs around the 5th century adapted their noodles by drying them. This is the first mention of dried pasta. In the late 7th century, during the Arabian conquest of Sicily, Durum wheat pasta was introduced. During Marco Polo's trips to China he describes a food similar to lagana. It is believed that this food that he brought back to Italy in 1295 was rice noodles. The first concrete evidence to support that pasta found in Italy were from the 13th or 14th century.

Today pasta is a staple and is loved around the world. From its simple origins, pasta has found a place in our hearts.

References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasta#cite_note-15

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

History of The Pasta Maker.

Vintage Pasta Maker
Vintage Pasta Maker

Before the advent of the pasta maker, pasta was a laborious process that only the wealthy could afford. It consisted of kneading the dough by hand for hours. Then the dough was flattened into thin sheets. After that, it is cut into thin strips, and cooked immediately or dried for later use. As a result, pasta wasn't readily available to the common people.

That started to change during the 17th century when inventors adapted the mechanical press (which was invented around 1490's for the printing press) for press the dough. These machines were much smaller and easier to handle, and similar to today's hand-cranked pasta makers. This drastically reduced the time it took to flatten the dough into sheets, and it allowed for a more even thickness then hand pressed sheets. However, the kneading of the dough was still done by hand.

In the 1700's Ferdinando II, the king of Naples, hired the famous engineer Cesare Spadaccini to salve the problem of having to knead the dough by hand. Cesare developed a process of adding boiling water to the flour, and then placing the mixture into a machine designed the knead the dough. In 1740 the first pasta factories went into business. They used a pasta maker based on Cesare's design, and a press powered by several men. With these additions to making pasta, it became affordable for the common person to eat pasta, and became very popular.

The pasta maker was refined over time into the machines we have today.

References

http://www.shoppastamaker.com/history-of-the-pasta...

Photo Courtesy of http://iramency.blogspot.com/2011/04/vintage-pasta...

How to Use a Pasta Maker

Hand Crank Pasta Maker

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Atlas Marcato Line

Marcato Atlas Pasta Machine, Made in Italy, Stainless Steel, Includes Pasta Cutter, Hand Crank, and Instructions
Marcato Atlas Pasta Machine, Made in Italy, Stainless Steel, Includes Pasta Cutter, Hand Crank, and Instructions

Product Features:

Made in Italy

9-Position dail to allow for different pasta thickness

Chrome-plated steel body and nickel-plated rollers resist corrosion

Narrow and wide cutters to for allowing 4 types of pasta - flat dough sheet, fettuccine, spaghetti and tagliolini.

Hand-crank and clamp with ABS plastic handles

Detailed instruction book with color photos and recipes

Additional attachments for more noodle styles sold separately

Measures 8 by 8 by 6 inches

Average Customer Review (Amazon) 4.4 out of 5. (132 reviews)

 

CucinaPro Imperia Line

Imperia Pasta Maker Machine - Heavy Duty Steel Construction w Easy Lock Dial and Wood Grip Handle- Model 150 Made in Italy
Imperia Pasta Maker Machine - Heavy Duty Steel Construction w Easy Lock Dial and Wood Grip Handle- Model 150 Made in Italy

Product Features:

Made in Italy

Made of heavy duty, shiny chromed plated steel

6-inch wide roller with double cutter head for allowing 2 types of pasta - spaghetti and fettucini.

Easy-lock adjustment dial

Wood grip handle

Additional attachments available for purchase separately

Measures13 by 7-1/2 by 6-3/4

Average Customer Review (Amazon) 4.2 out of 5 (68 reviews)

 

Roma Line

Weston 6 Inch Traditional Style 6" Traditional Pasta Machine
Weston 6 Inch Traditional Style 6" Traditional Pasta Machine

Product Features:

Adjustable rollers for multiple thickness settings

Double cutting head for fettuccini and spaghetti

C-Clamp to attach the pasta machine to a countertop

Easy-to-follow instructions and recipe booklet

Limited one-year manufaturer's warranty

Measures 7.8 x 8.3 x 6.5 inches

Average Customer Review (Amazon) 3.6 out of 5 (57 reviews)

 

Hand Crank Pasta Makers

Electric Pasta Maker

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Viante CUC-25PM Electric Line

Viante CUC-25PM Electric Pasta Maker with 9 Interchangeable Discs
Viante CUC-25PM Electric Pasta Maker with 9 Interchangeable Discs

Product Features:

Effortlessly mixes and kneads pasta dough

Transparent viewing window

Quick-reference icons on side panel

Removable measuring spoon built into chamber's lid

On-board tool storage

Includes 8 pasta discs, 1 biscotti disc, knife, and cleaning tool

Measures 12-4/5 by 13-8/9 by 15 inches

Average Customer Review (Amazon) 3.3 out of 5 (14 reviews)

 

Weston Line

Weston Electric Pasta Machine, Red
Weston Electric Pasta Machine, Red

Product Features:

Nine adjustable settings to make pasta sheets paper thin to 1/10" thick pasta

Includes adjustable wheel pasta cutter and cleaning brush

Heavy-duty construction and metal housing for a lifetime of use

Rollers measure 5 3/4-inch across

120-volt - 50 HZ - 90-watt motor

Measures 11 x 13.5 x 12.3 inches

 

CucinaPro Imperia Line

Electric Pasta Maker- Imperia Pasta Presto Non-stick Machine w 2 Cutters and 6 Thickness Settings
Electric Pasta Maker- Imperia Pasta Presto Non-stick Machine w 2 Cutters and 6 Thickness Settings

Product Features:

Made in italy

Non-stick coating guarantess safe and clean pasta always

2 built in cutters for tagliatelle and fettuccine

Built in motor makes pasta quicker and easier

6 thickness settings

Measures 9 x 6.5 x 12.5 inches

 

Electric Pasta Makers

Let me know what you think.

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      It was enlightening to read how pasta came into being, the history of pasta is quite interesting.

    • Scotties-Rock profile image

      Clairissa 5 years ago from OREFIELD, PA

      Great info! Maybe I do need a pasta maker. :)

    • dannydeu profile image
      Author

      dannydeu 5 years ago

      @Edwardjames81: Thank you for taking the time to stop by my lens. I am glad you enjoyed it.

    • Edwardjames81 profile image

      Edwardjames81 5 years ago

      I couldn't be without my pasta maker. this is a great lens, well crafted and very easy to read.

    • dannydeu profile image
      Author

      dannydeu 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you for your tip. I ill work on the descriptions.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is much more than a shopping lens, I love how you included a history of pasta. The only thing I would suggest is that you reword your amazon product descriptions so that google doesn't pick up on duplicate content and it makes for very nice updates, an updated lens is a happy lens.

    • dannydeu profile image
      Author

      dannydeu 5 years ago

      @KilleenMcG: You are welcome. Thank you for stopping by.

    • KilleenMcG profile image

      Killeen 5 years ago from Warner, NH

      We pretty much live on pasta in this household! My mom had a hand crank pasta maker when I was a kid... I'd forgotten all about that. Thanks for the nostalgia. :)

    • dannydeu profile image
      Author

      dannydeu 5 years ago

      @fugeecat lm: Thank you for stopping by my lens.

    • dannydeu profile image
      Author

      dannydeu 5 years ago

      @fugeecat lm: Thank you for your visit.

    • fugeecat lm profile image

      fugeecat lm 5 years ago

      I really like the how to use a pasta maker video.

    • fugeecat lm profile image

      fugeecat lm 5 years ago

      I really like the how to use a pasta maker video.