Choosing Pasta Makers
Everyone who respects their pasta will agree with me when I say nothing beats pasta made from scratch using only fresh and quality ingredients. To have pasta that contains only things you want it to contain you will have to make it at home and that needs some extra preparation. At least a mixer to make the dough and a pasta maker will be needed to flatten and cut it.
There are a few different variations on the market, but the two main options are manual and electric. If you don’t mind cranking the handle manually I strongly suggest buying manual, because you will save some dollars and the device will be less complicated.
Obviously it’s harder to operate but you will kiss every piece of it once you get to the cleaning part. Electric pasta makers are a great companion to every cook, but apprentices should stand a bit farther, cleaning such a machine is time consuming and ridiculously complicated to clean, so if you’re not producing pasta for two hours a day you probably don’t want one.
Go for stainless steel. Stainless steel is your best friend because it makes cleaning up that much easier and stops rust. A common household uses its pasta maker four times a year and between those occasions there are plenty of months to catch the rust under the sink. You probably want to avoid that.
Buy the most basic, least complicated manually operated pasta maker you can find, because extra options are sporadically used and you pay for them when you buy the device. Buy a plain maker with two cutter heads, but choose one that can be upgraded with different cutters should you master the dough and wish to venture further from spaghetti.
If you already have a decent stand mixer, check if it can be upgraded with roller heads. There are options for these mixers to convert them to pasta machines and if you were lucky enough you can save a few dollars by going this route easily. Removable heads are also easier to keep clean.
Always make sure you’ve read at least 2-3 reviews about a pasta maker you’re about to buy. I realize this is not a big investment at $50 average, but internet is virtually free and you should use it to the fullest. Imperia makers tend to get the best reviews but don’t jump on the bandwagon, read up on the subject and let the net save you money.