Last updated: August 11, 2021

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You want to buy less ready-made and cook more fresh, and pasta should be no exception? Or is there a particular pasta recipe that you just can't do justice to with store-bought pasta and would like to try out yourself? But you don't feel up to the task of processing your very firm pasta dough in the long run?

Then a pasta machine could be just the thing for you. In our pasta machine test 2021 we present you with detailed background information on pasta machines and introduce you to different types. We also give you some buying criteria that can help you choose the right model for you.




Summary

  • With pasta machines, you can make your own pasta much easier and better than by hand. You can also vary the ingredients more easily.
  • There are basically two types of pasta machines: Roller pasta machines and automatic pasta machines. These are available in different sizes and designs.
  • Automatic pasta machines are always electrically operated, while there are both electric and manual models of roller pasta machines, which are operated with a hand crank.

The Best Pasta Machine in the United Kingdom: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a pasta machine

For whom are pasta machines suitable and what alternatives are there?

Of course, you can also make pasta yourself manually, without a pasta maker. However, if you like to eat fresh pasta regularly and in larger quantities, you should consider buying a pasta machine.

The advantages of pasta machines over making pasta by hand are mainly the uniformity and quantity of pasta and the speed of production.

Pasta machines with a roller allow you to shape the pasta dough more evenly than with a simple rolling pin. And with the attachments of the pasta machine, you can make pasta that is almost impossible to make manually.

Depending on the model, the automatic kneading of the dough or the integrated dryer may also be an advantage. In any case, a pasta machine helps you to make tasty pasta faster and in larger quantities.

The only alternative is to make the pasta by hand, possibly with the help of a food processor to knead the dough. But you have to roll out and cut the dough yourself, which takes a long time and is only suitable for small quantities or for testing out a dough recipe.

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Pasta can of course also be made without a pasta machine. But if you want to make larger quantities and you want evenly shaped noodles - or you simply don't want to work by hand - you should use a pasta machine. (Photo: RitaE / pixabay.com)

How much does a pasta machine cost?

Depending on the supplier and model, pasta maker prices vary greatly. From the cheapest pasta machines starting at 20 euros to pasta makers around 200 euros to several thousand euros for professional devices, everything is represented.

Types of pasta machines cost description
Pasta machines for private use 50 to 70 euros
Rolling pasta machines 20 to 120 euros
Fully automatic pasta machines 100 to 250 euros
Pasta machines for commercial use from 1,000 euros

For private use, you should find the right high-quality product for you at around 50 to 70 euros.

Hand-operated rolling pasta machines and those with a motor cost around 20 to 120 euros. However, the cheapest products often cut corners on the quality of the material. It's best to stay in the middle of the price range.

Fully automatic pasta makers are hardly available for less than 100 euros. However, you should not have to invest more than 250 euros. For private use, commercial pasta machines are usually too big and, with prices starting at 1000 euros, probably too expensive.

What kind of pasta can I make with a pasta machine?

Basically, any type of pasta can be made with the right machine. Depending on the model, however, there are limitations due to the varying functionality. However, one of the most popular varieties in Germany - tagliatelle - can be produced by almost any pasta machine.

Pasta machine type pasta types
Roller pasta machine lasagne, ravioli and tagliatelle
Fully automatic more complex round pasta types such as macaroni and penne

Pasta machines with roller are perfect especially for lasagne, ravioli and tagliatelle. The fully automatic machine can also produce more complex round pasta types such as macaroni and penne, but not lasagne sheets.

Did you know that there are about 600 different types of pasta in the world?

The best known are spaghetti, penne and the spiral-shaped "fusili". But there are also varieties like cavallini, fregola, pizzocheri or radiatori.

Basically, pasta production works by using attachments that shape the kneaded or rolled pasta dough into the correct pasta shape. Most pastamakers are sold with at least two or three attachments, but there are usually additional versions that you can buy to suit your taste.

What kind of dough do I use in a pasta maker?

The basic recipe for a good Italian pasta includes flour, eggs, oil, salt and of course water. This pasta dough should always be successful, regardless of whether you choose an automatic or hand-operated pasta machine.

Of course, you can also add other ingredients such as wild garlic or spinach to the dough, make a vegan pasta dough without eggs or use alternatives such as wholemeal or spelt instead of wheat flour.

Here is the basic recipe for 4 to 6 people:

400 g flour
4 eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pinch of salt
Water

Mix all the ingredients and knead until you have an elastic, shiny pasta dough. Let it rest for about 30 minutes and then roll it out several times with a hand-operated or electric pasta machine using the roller. The fully automatic pasta machine also eliminates the need to knead the pasta dough.

How do I clean a pasta machine?

Depending on the model, cleaning a pasta machine is more or less time-consuming. With a hand-operated pasta machine, a dry cloth is usually sufficient. The automatic pasta machine, on the other hand, must first be taken apart. This takes more time, but some parts are usually dishwasher-safe.

Rolling pasta machines should ideally be left to stand for a day before you start cleaning them. This allows any residual dough to dry and remove itself by turning the crank. Then simply wipe the machine clean with a dry cloth.

You should never use water or washing-up liquid for cleaning, otherwise your pasta machine could start to rust.

Larger pasta machines and professional machines must be disassembled before cleaning. All parts that have come into contact with dough can then be cleaned with hot water and washing-up liquid. The motor block can also be cleaned from time to time, but only with a slightly damp cloth.

Decision: What types of pasta machines are there and which is the right one for you?

There are four main types of pasta machines:

  • Manual rolled pasta machine with hand crank
  • Automatic rolling pasta machine
  • Automatic pasta machine
  • Professional pasta machine for commercial use

The manual as well as the automatic rolling pasta machine work by using a roller to roll out the pasta dough into an even surface. The automatic pasta machine and the commercial machines, on the other hand, work in a similar way to a mincer - they immediately press the pasta dough into the right shape through attachments.

Each of the pasta machines has its individual advantages and disadvantages. Depending on how often and in what quantities and variations you want to make pasta with your pasta machine, a different type will be ideal for you.

The machines differ mainly in their handling and in how much they do for you automatically. In the following, we will present the different models of pasta machines and discuss their advantages and disadvantages to help you make your decision.

How does a manual rolling pasta machine work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The manual pasta machine is characterised above all by its ease of use. Both the operation and the cleaning are the easiest here. In addition, the manual pasta machine offers you the possibility to make your pasta exactly as thick and in the shape you want.

The kneaded pasta dough is pressed through a roller in this pasta machine to achieve a uniform thickness. The roller is driven by a hand crank. When the ideal thickness is reached, you can press different pasta out of the machine using different attachments.

Advantages
  • Easy to use
  • Uncomplicated cleaning
  • Inexpensive
  • Lots of control
Disadvantages
  • Time-consuming
  • Requires power
  • No round pasta

Making large quantities of pasta with a manual pasta machine can be both time consuming and power consuming. While semi-automatic or fully automatic machines roll or even knead the dough themselves, this model requires the hand crank to be operated all the time.

However, if you don't want to make your own pasta that often and in smaller quantities, the manual pasta machine is definitely good for you. It is inexpensive and uncomplicated and easy to use and clean.

With most manual pasta machines you can make lasagne sheets, spaghetti, fettuccine, tagliatelle and ravioli. Depending on the model, however, there are different attachments, some of which you can buy separately to suit your taste.

How is pasta made with an automatic rolling pasta machine and what are the advantages and disadvantages of this type of production?

The automatic pasta machine works in the same way as the manual version with a roller that presses the dough into the right shape. In this case, however, the roller is operated by a small motor, which can save you a lot of time and effort, especially with larger quantities of dough.

Since it is a little more expensive than the manual version, the automatic pasta machine is recommended especially if you want to make fresh pasta more often and in larger quantities.

Advantages
  • Saves time
  • Uncomplicated cleaning
  • Little effort
  • Easy to use
Disadvantages
  • No round pasta
  • More expensive than the manual version
  • Little control

Apart from mixing and kneading the pasta dough, this pasta machine hardly costs you any effort. The dough is automatically formed into the right shape, but you have a little less control over the thickness of the pasta.

If you want the pasta to be a little different, most automatic pasta makers allow you to switch off the motor and use a crank instead. As far as the variations of pasta are concerned, there is no difference between a manual and an automatic pasta machine with roller.

There are different attachments for both and also most automatic pasta machines can produce at least lasagne sheets, spaghetti, fettucine, tagliatelle and ravioli.

How is pasta made in an automatic pasta machine and what are the advantages and disadvantages of this type of pasta machine?

A pasta machine is especially recommended if you want to make fancy pasta in larger quantities. This fully automatic pasta machine works in a similar way to a mincer - it presses the pasta dough through attachments into the correct pasta shape.

A big advantage of most automatic pasta machines is that the dough is kneaded by the machine. So all you have to do is put the ingredients in and you automatically get fresh pasta. There are also models with a built-in drying fan so that you can dry the pasta and preserve it.

Advantages
  • Fast
  • Little effort
  • Pasta dough is kneaded automatically
  • Round pasta possible
Disadvantages
  • Higher initial costs
  • Complex cleaning
  • No large-area pasta

The pasta machine is very easy to use, but cleaning is a little more complicated. The machine has to be disassembled into several parts, which you then have to clean individually. Cleaning can take up more of your time than making the pasta itself.

Depending on the attachment, you can make almost any type of pasta with the pasta machine - except for lasagne sheets and other larger pasta. However, you also have the option of using the machine only to knead the dough - then you can roll it out manually and cut flat pasta from it!

Using the mincing method, this pasta maker also produces round pasta like penne or macaroni, which are difficult to make manually.

How does a professional pasta machine work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Professional pasta machines are mainly used commercially in pizzerias and bakeries. They can process between 1.5 and 5 kilograms of dough at once into different pasta varieties. All you have to do is put the ingredients into the machine.

The professional pasta machine also works on the mincing principle, whereby the pasta dough is pressed into the correct pasta shape by attachments. This is essentially a larger version of the pasta machine.

Advantages
  • Pasta can be produced in large quantities
  • Many variations
  • Fully automatic including dough production
  • Quick
Disadvantages
  • High purchase costs
  • Bulky and large
  • Time-consuming cleaning

With a tare weight of at least 15 kilograms and a large dough container, professional pasta machines are designed for commercial kitchens.

They are therefore hardly suitable for private use. In terms of price, the professional fully automatic machine is definitely in the three-digit range, which also speaks in favour of commercial use.

Similar to the other pasta machines, there are pasta shaping discs as accessories for the commercial version, which serve as an attachment to make different pasta. Whether Fussilli, Pappardelle, Bucatini or Tagliolini - here you will find the right accessories for every conceivable pasta.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate pasta machines

Since pasta machines sometimes work in very different ways, you should think carefully about which one is right for you before buying. Depending on how often, how much effort and how much pasta you want to make at home, you will make a different choice.

We would like to give you some guidance with the following criteria:

  • Mode of operation / types of pasta
  • Size / Weight
  • Workload
  • Production quantity
  • Cleaning
  • Expandability
  • Manual or electric
  • Material / Design

In the following paragraphs you will find more detailed information on the individual purchase criteria, which may help you decide on the right pasta machine.

Mode of operation / types of pasta

Basically, there are two different ways pasta machines can work. Rolling pasta machines first roll the dough thinly enough and then press it through attachments into the desired pasta shape.

Fully automatic pasta machines, on the other hand, do without rolling - they press the pasta dough into pasta directly after mixing the ingredients.

Which of these methods is right for you depends mainly on what kind of pasta you would like to make. Rolling pasta machines can usually make ribbon noodles, spaghetti and lasagne. There are also attachments for different variations of tagliolini and fettuccine.

A rolling pasta machine basically makes the work easier that you would otherwise do with a rolling pin. Depending on the model, the dough is operated by a hand crank or a motor and is repeatedly pressed through a roller until it has reached the desired thickness.

Automatic pasta machines often cannot produce wide pasta, but they can produce round pasta that is hollow on the inside. This works by automatically pressing the dough through an attachment and cutting it off every few centimetres. So if you prefer to make macaroni or penne, the pasta machine is the right choice for you.

Size / weight

Since you're interested in pasta makers, you'll probably already have a few other appliances in your kitchen cupboards. Fortunately, many pasta makers don't take up as much space as you might think.

Roller pasta makers are usually around 20 x 15 cm wide and 20 cm high. Depending on the material, they usually weigh between two and five kilograms. At around 20 x 30 x 30 cm, fully automatic pasta machines are somewhat larger. Their weight varies greatly, from one to seven kilograms.

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Pasta machines fit into any household.

What stands out about most Walz pasta machines is their attractive design. So if you don't have any more space in the cupboard, it's best to find a nice "prominent" place for your pastamaker right in the kitchen.

Workload

The most work is done with hand-operated rolling pasta machines. It is somewhat easier to make pasta with the electric rolling pasta machine. With the fully automatic pasta machine you have - as the name suggests - hardly any work.

Before you can start the rolling pasta machine, you first have to mix and knead the dough. With the manual version, you then have to turn the dough through the roller again and again with the hand crank.

The electric pasta machine does the cranking for you, but you still have to keep putting the pasta dough at the beginning of the roller.

The fully automatic pasta machine, on the other hand, does everything for you, and there are even models that can clean themselves. All you do is add the ingredients for your dough and you automatically get your finished pasta.

If you're having a hard time deciding, ask yourself one question: do you enjoy being in the kitchen and making something yourself, or are you really only interested in delicious home-made pasta?

Production quantity

Depending on how often and how much pasta you want to make, a different pasta machine is recommended. Basically, if you want to make pasta often, whether a lot or a little, an automatic pasta machine is recommended; if you want to make a lot of pasta at once, but not often, a roller pasta machine is perfectly adequate.

The fully automatic pasta machine is recommended for frequent use, precisely because it is so easy to operate. You fill in the ingredients and get your fresh pasta.

It hardly makes a difference how much pasta you want to make - whether it's just one portion for you or a little more in stock.

Since you have to make the dough manually with the rolling pasta machine, it makes sense to knead larger quantities of dough and press it through the roller.

The time you need to spend here is large anyway, regardless of whether you are making a small or large amount of pasta. Therefore, we recommend the rolling pasta machines for larger quantities, but not for frequent use.

Cleaning

Fortunately, cleaning roller pasta machines is very uncomplicated. All you need is a cloth or a household roll. Cleaning the pasta machine takes a little longer, but you save time when making pasta.

It is advisable to wait a few hours after using the rolling pasta machine. Afterwards, you only need to wipe the dried dough and flour residues off the rollers with a cloth. Do not use water or washing-up liquid, as this could cause the pasta machine to rust.

Pasta machines must be disassembled into several small parts, which you can then clean individually. Some of these parts can even be put in the dishwasher, but you can always clean them with water, as they are usually made of plastic. By the way, there are also pasta machines that can clean themselves.

Expandability

Basically, every pasta machine can make at least three different types of pasta. For most models, however, you can buy additional attachments according to your own preferences.

Rolled pasta machines primarily make a thin sheet of dough of the thickness you want. When the correct thickness is reached, an accessory is screwed on to cut the dough into the desired shape.

Most models offer accessories for lasagne sheets, spaghetti and ribbon noodles as basic equipment. However, attachments are available for all types of pasta that can be made from a large sheet of dough.

Automatic pasta machines also press the dough through various attachments. The fully automatic pasta machine is particularly suitable for round pasta, and you can also buy many additional attachments here.

Before buying, it's best to find out not only what the pasta machine can do with its basic equipment, but also to look at the options for expansion.

Manual or electric

While fully automatic pasta machines work without electricity, there are two variants of roller pasta machines. They can be operated either by a motor or a hand crank.

For frequent use in large quantities, it can be practical if your pasta machine runs automatically. This saves you time and energy. However, it is not worth buying an electric machine if you will only use it every few months.

The advantage of manual machines is that they are lighter and less expensive. If you are not sure how often you will actually use your pastamaker, you can stick with the manual version to start with.

Many hand-operated pasta machines can be retrofitted with a motor. It's best to make sure before you buy that you can add a motor if you need to.

Material / Design

Rolling pasta machines are usually made of metal. In terms of design, they have a charm all their own, reminiscent of the ambience of an old Italian pizzeria. Pasta machines are usually made of plastic and fit particularly well into modern kitchens.

Although most rolling pasta machines are very similar in their traditional design, you will notice considerable differences in price. This is mainly due to the material.

There are variants made of stainless steel, chrome steel and aluminium. The steel models are usually more robust, so perfect for you if you want to use your pasta machine frequently. For infrequent use, a cheaper pasta machine made of aluminium is usually enough.

By the way, most roller pasta machines have a metallic look. However, they also come in a matt design in various colours, from dark green and blue to pink.

Pasta machines are usually rather modern devices made of plastic. With round shapes and mostly bright, soft colours, they fit perfectly into light-filled modern kitchens.

Facts worth knowing about pasta machines

How long does homemade pasta last?

Homemade pasta tastes best when it is fresh, of course, but there is also the possibility of making it some time in advance or perhaps even giving it as a gift.

Did you know that although pasta is Italian national property, the pasta we love so much could also have come from the Greeks or the Chinese?

In China, steamed dumplings were mentioned in writing as early as 200 BC and in Greece, pasta was even found near burial chambers.

As long as they are well chilled, fresh noodles can be kept for three to four days without any problems. Within this time you can also freeze it to use it up in the next few weeks. However, if you want to keep it longer or give it as a gift, we recommend drying it.

Depending on whether the dough contains eggs or not, the shelf life may change slightly. Because of the risk of salmonella, pasta containing eggs should be used up or dried as soon as possible.

For a longer shelf life, it is also helpful to store the pasta in the dark and to avoid adding too much salt to the dough, as salt attracts water and thus mould.

How do I dry fresh pasta?

Fully automatic pasta machines often have a built-in drying fan. But even without an integrated dryer, pasta can be dried quite easily and thus preserved for up to a year. There are three main methods: in the air, in the oven or in a dehydrator.

With air drying, it takes about one to three days for the pasta to dry completely. Small pasta like penne can be spread out on a kitchen towel.

For elongated pasta, hanging storage is recommended. You can hang the pasta on a wooden pasta dryer or simply on a clothes horse.

In the oven or dehydrator, the drying time is halved. However, as the pasta should be dried evenly, you should not use more than 40 degrees heat. Although this method is quicker, it is only recommended for smaller quantities of pasta.

Can I make fondant with a pasta machine?

Yes, hand-operated and automatic pasta machines that work with a roller can be used to make even fondant for cakes. The sugar mixture is simply pressed through the roller several times instead of the pasta dough.

With pasta machines you can also give the fondant a pattern. To do this, simply run a lace ribbon through the pasta machine together with the fondant. The lace imprints itself on the fondant and the result is a very special cake decoration.

Image source: Pixabay.com / Divily

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