- Food and Cooking
The Best Pasta Makers
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...
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.
Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia
History of The 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.
Photo Courtesy of http://iramency.blogspot.com/2011/04/vintage-pasta...
How to Use a Pasta Maker
Hand Crank Pasta Maker
Atlas Marcato Line
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
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)
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
Viante CUC-25PM Electric Line
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)
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
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