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7 Tips to Buying a Pasta Machine

Updated on March 10, 2010

Pasta lovers know how important it is to use the right kind and shape of paste for their dishes, but not everyone is aware that freshly made pasta not only tastes better but is healthier as well. Since making the dough is not hard at all, and you know exactly what is going in it, buying a pasta maker is not a half bad idea.

There are a few options you should decide about before purchasing a pasta machine, and here is a quick checklist to help you with the process.

Pasta Bolognese
Pasta Bolognese

1. There are two kinds of pasta machines; manually powered and electrical. The manually powered version usually costs considerably less and is much easier to clean; the electrical version however takes the struggle out of turning the crank.

2. Decide on the budget. Manual versions are rather cheap; you can have quality pieces under $50 while electrical solutions range from $100 to several hundred dollars.

3. Don't get carried away by the multitude of options. A cheap, quality device is fine until you've mastered simple dough, even after that, chances are that you won't use every function of a $400 industrial pasta maker. There are electrical makers that even assemble the dough for you if you insert hatched eggs and flour, but they're a pain in the ... (exactly what you think)... to clean.

4. Always choose stainless steel built pasta machine. They're easier to keep clean and don't rust even if you don't use it for a few months at a time.

5. Consider buying roller heads for the stand mixer if you own one. There are head attachments that turn your stand mixer to a pasta maker.

6. Choose a maker that can be upgraded with a motor and different cutting heads. As you make pasta more often and get better at making basic recipes you'll want to have different heads than the default spaghetti cutter.

7. Check user reviews on the net or ask someone you know uses a pasta machine. Imperia pasta makers usually get very positive feedback, but don't let anyone fool you. Spend some time reading reviews and don't be afraid to ask on forums before making the decision.

After you've got the pasta machine, making the dough is really easy. The Internet is full of recipes, but any serious recipe book about Italian food gives at least a few different types of pasta dough recipes you can easily try at home. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don't give up if you happen to fail at first!

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