The Bottom Line
- Sturdy design and construction
- Easy to use dial to adjust thickness of the pasta sheets
- Hard to use without two people
- Detachable handle sometimes falls out when cranking
- Detachable cutter to make fettuccine and tagliolini
- Removable hand crank works both the roller and cutter
- Built of chrome-plated steel
Guide Review - Marcato Atlas 150 Pasta Maker
Homemade pasta is a pleasure everyone should enjoy occasionally. And the Atlas Marcato Pasta Maker is an authentic, old-school way to do so. This beautiful little machine is fun to use, especially if you've got kids in the house, and it makes beautiful hand-rolled pasta. Plus it’s less expensive than a motorized pasta maker or a stand mixer attachment.
The machine clamps to a counter edge. A removable crank turns the rollers, which adjust to 9 degrees of thickness. Making pasta is easy: knead the dough by passing it through the rollers at the widest setting a few times. Then roll the pasta through the machine at increasingly thinner settings (I find that rolling it to the 5th or 6th setting is ideal). The removable cutter makes tagliolini (similar to spaghetti) on one side and fettuccine on the other, and the removable crank also turns the cutter. You can also leave the pasta sheets uncut for lasagna noodles or to make ravioli.
It's difficult to use this machine without a helper, since one set of hands is required to guide and catch the pasta as it goes through the machine, and another hand to crank it. To make things easier, a motor (around $120) can be fitted to the machine. And it would be a bonus if this machine came with a pasta drying rack: cut noodles will stick together if they're touching for even a few minutes.
This pasta maker is easy to maintain: if you dust it with flour before using, dough will not stick, and cleaning just requires brushing or wiping flour and crumbs off. However, I've found that, after not using the machine for awhile, a grayish smudge will appear on my first batch of pasta. I've learned to wipe the crevices of the machine carefully or roll a folded-up paper towel through the machine before using.
The Marcato Atlas 150 pasta maker is around $80, an investment that, with proper care, should last a lifetime.