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Tell me about pasta makers

(18 Posts)
OldLagNewName Mon 03-Jul-17 11:37:18

DS (soon to be 11) has made pasta a few times and seems quite keen to keep doing it. He's made it at school where they used a pasta machine and at home where we only had a rolling pin and it definitely came out much thinner and better with the school version. I'm wondering about getting him a pasta machine for his birthday - he quite liked that idea (he's hard to buy presents for, so that's pretty much as enthusiastic as it gets) but I'm aware that they're a classic 'languishes in your cupboard never getting used' kitchen item. And we're short of storage space.

I've had a look on Amazon but got overwhelmed with all the choice and not understanding the difference between the different types. Can anyone explain the basic different types to me? Or recommend a model that's not too big?

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AlternativeTentacle Mon 03-Jul-17 11:43:25

I bought one that had the fine spaghetti cutter; some of them don't go that fine.

However I then overordered the pasta on a couple of online shops, so am not allowed to make spaghetti until I have used it all up!

I say allowed, he couldn't stop me but storage is precious in our house and I do agree with him that we need to use up our pasta mountain.

I actually bought it to make noodles though, and am hoping to do some this week. They are much harder to pummel and roll fine enough.

The hardest bit is cleaning them as they can't be dishwashed.

OldLagNewName Mon 03-Jul-17 11:46:04

Ah, not being dishwashable is a bit of a drawback! Useful to know that, thanks. Hmmm.

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trebleclef101 Mon 03-Jul-17 11:50:45

How about a ravioli maker as an alternative? Makes home made stuffed pasta easier to make but is easier to clean than a roller type pasta maker. You do still have to do the initial rolling by hand though.

I used to have a pasta maker and did use it quite regularly. Only got rid of it because we were moving abroad and it was just too heavy!

trebleclef101 Mon 03-Jul-17 11:53:47

Something like this

DramaAlpaca Mon 03-Jul-17 11:56:47

I got one from Lakeland, but sadly it is now languishing in a cupboard after only being used a few times.

It's OK, but expensive for the amount of use it got. It's not too big though, so doesn't take up too much space. It's also a pain to clean because as said above it can't be dishwashed. It fixes on to the edge of the worktop, but sometimes comes off when the handle turns which is annoying.

Be aware that they are hard work to turn the handle and put the pasta through. DH is the pasta maker in our house & even he struggles a bit. He only made tagliatelle and it was difficult to get it an even thickness - I think he probably just needs more practice, but the whole process was a bit of a faff really. It's a shame as home made pasta is so delicious.

trebleclef101 Mon 03-Jul-17 11:58:05

I had one similar to this, fitted in a box about 20cm square, so not too big. Easier to clean if you leave the pasta on it dry first, then you can just brush most of it off.

OldLagNewName Mon 03-Jul-17 12:09:44

Thanks - those are really useful things to know too. Jamie Oliver makes it look really easy to turn the handle but I can imagine he's got better arm muscles than a non-sporty 11 year old.

Very useful tip about leaving it to dry before washing, trebleclef. Does homemade ravioli work well? I have visions of all the filling leaking out and ending up with a horrible weak soup. But DS does love filled pasta, so that would be great.

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AlternativeTentacle Mon 03-Jul-17 12:14:55

I don't have muscley arms and don't find it hard to turn the handle. You start off thick and go down in thickness each time, making it dead easy. In fact once it is mixed in, you turn go over and over folding it each time as part of carrying on the mixing process. You only start to make it go thinner once it is all uniform in colour.

NannyR Mon 03-Jul-17 12:29:40

I make ravioli and other filled pasta, I use the machine to rollout the dough then lay one sheet of it on the table, put little mounds of filling on it, wet the dough around the mounds then top with another sheet, seal them and cut them out with a pastry cutter wheel or small biscuit cutters.

I did have one of the ravioli trays but I found it quite faffy and the "holes" are too small to hold much filling.

OldLagNewName Mon 03-Jul-17 14:45:31

Thanks Nanny and Tentacle - useful.

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TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Mon 03-Jul-17 14:53:48

main issue i have is where to fix it...my kitchen table is weirdly shaped at the edge so it has to clamp onto a heavy breadboard, but then the turning of the handle can shimmy the board across the bloody table. Pasta making chezTondelaya is def a family enterprise

...a minimum of two people...one to turn the handle and weigh down the breadboard and another to deal with the pasta! I would definitely use it a good deal more if I would fix properly somewhere!

Having said that I do think it is much nicer pasta and you can do things like add in thyme leaves or chopped chives
It also makes a little bolognaise go a very long way if you make ravioli..I got a ravioli maker in the dunelm sale for pennies

and it's so easy to go DIY and make giant round stuffed ravioli with any filling you like

Cleaning....I just wipe mine down, set the rollers to wide and roller through a fresh J-cloth and shimmy it about a bit.

CaptainWarbeck Tue 04-Jul-17 02:05:18

You can get ravioli cutters which are bigger and less fiddly than the tray type ones. But I never make ravioli because it's double the faff making first the filling and then the fresh pasta.

Pasta maker a good idea though, we do use ours every once in a while and I'm glad we've got it. Fresh tagliatelle is delicious. Re cleaning, it's really just floury after use anyway, so I let it dry and then brush down so it's clean.

CaptainWarbeck Tue 04-Jul-17 02:07:13

This type of thing.

I think it sounds like a great present if he likes fiddling about in the kitchen making things. I hope my DS has similar interests when he's that age!

CaptainWarbeck Tue 04-Jul-17 02:10:12

You can also get these pasta drying racks for not very much on eBay - not strictly necessary but handy if you don't want pasta strands draped all over the backs of chairs etc before cooking them!

OldLagNewName Tue 04-Jul-17 20:35:28

Thanks Captain! I like the idea of adding herbs and things to the dough - he'd be up for that because he likes herbs. He's only just got back into cooking, having done lots before he went to school - I'm really pleased because I love cooking and really want them to be competent cooks. Hooray for school cooking lessons, which seems to be what's got him interested again.

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OldLagNewName Tue 04-Jul-17 20:36:39

Should say, in the interests of truthful representation of our lives, that he's much rather play on screens than cook, but if that's not an option then cooking is often an acceptable alternative.

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CoverYourKneesUp Sat 08-Jul-17 08:27:11

Got one from Costco as a gift, came with flour and olive oil I think, but was less than £20 and does the job brilliantly. It's an old fashioned manual hand crank one.

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