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While tasty, good quality pasta is readily available almost everywhere, there’s nothing quite like your own fresh, home-made spaghetti, tagliatelle, ravioli or fettuccine. That’s why the lockdown pasta making craze continues, and more and more Mumsnetters are embracing fresh pasta.
For a busy weekday supper it’s a massive faff; but as a hearty, healthy and special meal that doubles as a wholesome and kid-friendly activity, making pasta from scratch is actually a real joy.
The quality of your ingredients plays a big part in how well home-made pasta turns out: for the best results, you’ll need ‘00’ pasta flour and really fresh eggs. There are many different types of pasta maker - from rolling pin and stencil sets to fancy fully automated machines that produce a variety of shapes with zero effort.
To help you in your quest for the perfect pasta maker, we’ve dutifully searched the Mumsnet forums, as well as review sites, for wisdom and recommendations. We weighed up the pros and cons of each model to bring you our pick of this year’s crop.
Here are the best pasta makers to buy in 2021.
1. Best overall pasta maker: KitchenAid Pasta Attachment
Price: £155 | Buy now from Lakeland
"I also have the Kitchen Aid pasta attachment. It's fab. I don't bother making fresh lasagne but the fresh linguine it makes is divine. Especially with carbonara sauce" - oldfatandtired1
"We have the KA attachment (having used a hand-cranked machine for years) and home made pasta is a doddle and is yummy. Easy as pie to get it thin enough. You do need the right flour though, and we have a surplus of super- fresh eggs from our chooks, which helps" - stealthsquiggle
This pasta maker only works with a KitchenAid mixer, so if you have one or are on the fence about investing, consider this a sign. The KitchenAid pasta roller attachment is hands down the pasta maker Mumsnetters recommend most often and with most gusto.
With three rollers included, you can make fettuccine, spaghetti and lasagne, but the real appeal of this handy gadget is that it leaves both your hands free to guide the dough through the roller, plus it will sit high on your worktop so the pasta doesn’t get bunched up and squished together. These two features take out so much of the fiddliness of pasta making while still giving that handmade feel and being kid-friendly.
- Size: 24 x 9 x 5cm
- Types of pasta: Three
2. Best budget pasta maker: VonShef Fresh Pasta Machine
Price: £35 | Buy now from Amazon
"I whizz up the eggs and flour in a food processor so it doesn't need much of a knead and then it needs a good rest (can leave it for 24 hours in the fridge). My DD enjoys helping put it through the pasta machine. It cooks really quickly and tastes fantastic. Don't do it every time we have pasta, but it is nice for a weekend meal" - Cernabbas
For a cheap and cheerful pasta maker that does the job, may we present the VonShef pasta roller. At a bargain price of around £35, you not only get the basic roller, but also a ravioli roller, tagliatelle, spaghetti and fettuccine attachments and a spaghetti measuring tool.
The machine itself is sturdy and well made. It comes with a clamp to steady it on your work surface and it rolls the dough nice and flat ready for cooking. In order to clean it you’ll need to leave any dough to dry out as it’s not suitable for washing in water and even using a damp cloth isn’t advised. This applies to all manual roller-style pasta makers but it’s something to bear in mind before you buy.
- Size: 16 x 33 x 24cm
- Types of pasta: Four
3. Best manual pasta maker: Marcato Atlas 150 pasta machine Chrome, Silver Wellness
Price: £55 | Buy now from Amazon
Inventors of the world’s first manual pasta machine, Marcato produce simple, robust and well-made pasta makers and accessories. We love this Atlas design for its smooth rolling system, sharp blades and easy to use mechanism.
It’s compatible with 12 accessories allowing you to make loads of different shapes. This basic model comes with attachments for lasagne, fettuccine and tagliolini. Like other manual pasta rollers it needs to be cleaned with a dry brush, but the high quality of the design means not much dough gets stuck in the rolling process.
- Size: 20 x 20 x 17cm
- Types of pasta: Three
4. Best easy-to-use pasta maker: Philips Viva Collection Fresh Pasta Maker
Price: £239 | Buy now from Amazon
"DH bought me the Phillips automatic pasta maker I had been lusting after for ages just before this whole thing kicked off. It is amazing. You literally put flour and liquid (generally egg and water) in the machine, press a button and three minutes later it starts spewing out fresh pasta" - SnowsInWater
If you’re looking to splash out on a pasta machine that does the whole job for you, this one from Philips Viva Collection is a safe bet. Like a bread maker, you simply add the ingredients and let the clever gadget get on with it.
Mumsnetters say it’s not so great for lasagne, owing to the shape of the attachment the pasta is pressed through, but it produces top-notch spaghetti, penne and fettuccine.
- Size: 13 x 35 x 28cm
- Types of pasta: Four
5. Best pasta maker for kids: Chefly Homemade Pasta Maker
Price: £34 | Buy now from Amazon
"Pasta is easy and a lot of fun, the DGCs love helping. I use the pasta dough cycle on my bread machine then roll it out using a hand pasta machine. You can colour and flavour it with veg like spinach or beetroot too. You can't beat homemade lasagne sheets" - JamNan
This basic manual pasta maker from Chefly is perfect for rolling up your sleeves and making pasta with the kids. It’s sturdy, won’t break the bank and is just right for learning to make fresh pasta or experimenting with flavoured or coloured dough. It clamps nice and firmly to the kitchen worktop or dining table, and the anti-slip rubber grips on the base of the machine stop it from sliding around.
- Size: 19 x 19 x 15cm
- Types of pasta: Seven
6. Best multipurpose pasta maker: Marcato Regina Pasta Extruder
Price: £99 | Buy now from Amazon
This manual pasta extruder from Marcato is for serious pasta enthusiasts. Make complex pasta shapes including fusilli, macaroni and rigatoni by feeding dough through the hole in the top and turning the crank. The machine then forces the dough through the moulds, producing tubular pasta that you cut to size using the chrome slicer.
The Regina pasta extruder is a fun and impressive kitchen gadget, and a great mid-point between traditional pasta roller and a fully automated model.
- Size: 26 x 13 x 19cm
- Types of pasta: Five
7. Best traditional pasta maker: Imperia Italian Double Cutter
Price: £73 | Buy now from Amazon
"We have an Imperia which is one of the main brands in Italy and one recommended by most chefs I believe" - meanmum
This sleek machine from Italian brand Imperia comes highly recommended by Mumsnetters and Italians alike. Featuring a wooden handle and solid steel construction, plus a sturdy clamp to keep it in place, it’s a classic design made to a high standard.
With attachments to make lasagne, fettuccine and tagliatelle, and a recipe book to get you started, this is a perfect addition to your kitchen.
- Size: 20 x 18 x 15cm
- Types of pasta: Three
8. Best ravioli maker: KitchenCraft World of Flavours Filled Ravioli Roller
Price: £19 | Buy now from Amazon
"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" - trebleclef101
A ravioli tray is a nifty alternative to a traditional pasta roller. You need to roll the dough out really thin before using the tray, which can be achieved with a rolling pin and elbow grease, or with a pasta maker.
Each segment on this KitchenCraft ravioli tray has a generous space for fillings, but it can get quite fiddly. If the roller-style pasta makers are a bit steep, at £15 this ravioli tray is a cheaper way to make delicious fresh pasta.
- Size: 33 x 11 x 2cm
- Types of pasta: One
9. Most stylish pasta maker: Pastoni Professional Pasta Cutter
Price: £44 | Buy now from Amazon
Retailing at under £50, this retro design from Pastoni is a great choice for a colourful kitchen. Available in mustard yellow or turquoise, and with a fold-away pasta drying rack that looks like a miniature rotary washing line, it’s as cute as a button.
It’s sturdy and has a smooth, easy to operate mechanism. You can make lasagne, tagliatelle, fettuccine and spaghetti, plus it comes with the essentials like a table clamp and a non-slip base.
- Size: 20 x 17 x 15cm
- Types of pasta: Four
How to buy the best pasta maker
When choosing a pasta maker, look for good-quality materials and make sure all the accessories come included. Investing in a well-known brand will pay off, as a well-made machine will last longer and be more efficient than competitors.
Are pasta makers worth it?
If you want to make fresh pasta at home, a pasta maker is pretty indispensable. Sure, you can use a rolling pin like the nonnas of yore, but trust us, it takes a lot of work to get the dough thin enough. They’re also more versatile than you’d expect - you can use a pasta maker to make pittas, noodles and asian-style dumplings.
What’s the easiest type of pasta to make with a pasta maker?
Lasagne sheets are the simplest type of pasta to make, with long, wide strips of fettuccine coming a close second.
What’s the best pasta maker to buy?
If you’re lucky enough to have a KitchenAid, the pasta attachment is utterly brilliant and we think it’s the best pasta maker out there. If not, an Italian-made traditional pasta maker by Marcato or Imperia will keep you in delicious fresh pasta for years to come.
How we chose our recommendations
Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which pasta makers families had bought for their kitchens.
We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which pasta makers had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites, and what customer reviews said about them. Having collated all that information, we picked the pasta makers we think are the best buys for a variety of types of pasta.
Why you should trust us
We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.