Last year I decided to start making my own pasta. Seems a natural extension of my bread making. But it took several months before I could get started, what with personal issues and, of course, the holiday season interfering. This week I finally took the step.
As usual with me, I did a lot of online research and reading before I took the first step. I looked at many reviews of pasta makers, as well as read techniques and recipes from hundreds of sites and several of my cookbooks.
I wanted a manual pasta maker, although I know that you can make your own pasta without a machine, just a dough cutter and a rolling pin. That requires a lot of rolling, folding and cutting, and I simply don’t have the patience or the skill. The result is never consistent, either. I chose manual in part because the price of a motorized/electric machine is rather too high to justify for something I expect to use at most once a week, and usually for just the two of us.
There are a lot of pasta makers on the market, and a lot of accessories for food processors. Despite the number of brands, most look and operate essentially the same. For manual machines, the options are in the available width settings and the types of pasta you can create (through interchangeable cutting heads).
Some types of pasta can be made manually after rolling, using the flat sheets of dough and cutting it into shapes.
Basically a pasta machine does two things: it rolls/flattens the dough, and then it cuts it into strips or shapes. It’s pretty simple, and one person can do it alone.