Spaghetti, fettuccini, ravioli; regardless of the shape of the noodle, there is something deliciously welcoming about a steaming plate of pasta covered in a rich, shimmering tomato or meat sauce.
And as an easy-to-make – and affordable — comfort food, pasta is a mouth-watering, satisfying choice.
Pasta noodles come in many sizes and shapes and are widely available in grocery stores, dried and boxed and sitting on the shelf for weeks or months. These are good in a pinch, but if you want to be authentically Italian, freshly made pasta is the way to go. A good pasta machine makes it easy.
Whether you prefer a manual or an electric model, a pasta machine lets you make your own noodles at home every day, any way you like it. Create your pasta, choose your topping, and you’re ready for a taste of Italy.
We’ve narrowed down eight pasta machines you can buy online. Read on and find the one that best suits your style and taste.
1. Editor’s Pick: Marcato Design Atlas 150 Pasta Machine
Making pasta by hand is a long process that is best left in the past. But that doesn’t mean you want the pasta you make to be less authentic than what your Nonna put on your plate.
This manual pasta machine from Marcato has been called the Ferrari of the pasta machine world by Cook’s Illustrated. Made in Italy, it will roll and cut pasta dough into traditional shapes like lasagna, fettuccine and tagliatelle.
The chrome-plated steel model comes packed with some pretty cool features to make the process easy. Choose from a variety of thicknesses to customize your noodles – you can roll sheets of dough to 150-millimeters wide at 10 different thicknesses, from 0.6 millimeters to 4.8 millimeters, giving you plenty of flexibility. Use the dial to control the dough for consistent texture, cook time and taste.
The kit includes the pasta machine, a pasta cutter, hand crank and clamp, and measures 8 x 8 x 7 inches and weighs 5.41 pounds. If one day you decide you’re tired of the manual method and want to go electric, opt for the pasta drive motor or one of the 12 other pasta-cutting accessories, which are sold separately.
- Makes three different pasta shapes
- Cuts pasta dough at 10 different thicknesses
- Easily attach a pasta drive motor or 12 other pasta-cutting accessories (sold separately)
- Not dishwasher safe
2. Runner Up: EMERIL LAGASSE Pasta & Beyond, Automatic Pasta and Noodle Maker
Electric pasta machines may be more expensive than manual models, but they do a lot more, too, including saving you a lot of time. If you want to make fresh pasta but can’t devote the time or energy to making dough, rolling it out, feeding it into the machine by hand and then hand-cranking the cutters, then an electric model may be for you. We chose this one from Emeril Lagasse as out top pick because it is on the more affordable end of the price scale.
One of the most convenient features of an electric pasta machine is that it mixes the dough for you. You just add the ingredients using the included measuring cup and when the dough is done, the machine will start extruding noodles. All you have to do is cut them to the length you want. You can make up to one pound of fresh, homemade pasta and noodles in minutes.
Included with the machine are eight pasta shaping discs including penne, linguine, tagliatelle, udon, angel hair, fettuccine and lasagna and tools and attachments such as a noodle cutter, a dry and a liquid measuring cup and even a slow juicer attachment.
- Can mix the dough and extrude in the same machine
- Comes with accessories and attachments
- Includes a cookbook
- Measurements on the cups are in grams
- The plastic discs are not strong
- Heavy at 16 pounds
3. Best Compact Manual: GOURMEX Stainless Steel Manual Pasta Maker Machine
Perhaps pasta plays a big part in many of your recipes. And perhaps you’ve been thinking of replacing boxed pasta for the fresh, homemade variety, but you’re new to the game. We say it’s time to consider a versatile, easy-to-use manual pasta machine to make pasta whenever the mood hits.
This pasta maker from Gourmex is made of heavy-duty stainless steel and has a number of good features, such as adjustable thickness settings – seven different choices, so you can make thick lasagna, long, thin angel hair pasta or al dente ravioli.
The machine’s double cutter head attachment gives you the option to choose your width; prepare a large ball of dough, divide it in half, choose one width, make your pasta and then easily change the setting to cut another shape and thickness.
Measuring 8.27 x 7.87 x 6.22 inches and weighing 6.14 pounds, this compact machine has a detachable handle and clamp and will take up minimal space on the countertop.
- Quick and easy assembly
- Seven thickness settings
- Adjustable steel rollers for kneading
- Clear recipe / guidebook included
- Not easy to clean
4. Best Compact Electric: Newhai Electric Pasta Maker
Living in a small space usually means you don’t have a lot of extra space in your kitchen, be it counter or cupboard space. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up the idea of making homemade pasta. All you need is a right-sized pasta machine.
This electric pasta machine from Newhai is a compact model that can be kept on your countertop for every day use, or neatly stored in a cupboard when not in use. Measuring 12.8 inches x 10.1 inches x 5.7 inches, the machine is easy to use, with a one-touch operation for making different quantities of pasta.
Similar to other electric models, you add the dough ingredients into the machine using the included dry and liquid measuring cups, and then let the stirring shafts knead it to the correct consistency. Once the dough looks a bit like breadcrumbs, you press the extruder button and out comes your noodles. With 13 different shapes to choose from, you can have a different noodle every night for almost two weeks!
- Thirteen different pasta shapes
- One-touch operation
- Compact design
- Needs assembly
- Tricky to clean
5. Most Versatile Manual: Imperia Pasta Maker Machine
For many people, variety is the space of life, even when it comes to small kitchen appliances and yes, pasta machines. What do we mean by variety? The ability to do more functions with one item. In this case, variety translates into versality, since this manual pasta machine comes with 11 accessories to make more of what you like.
This pasta machine from Imperia is easy to set up and is made in Italy from heavy-duty chrome plated steel, with a solid clamp that will fit securely to your table. No slipping or sliding while you work. The machine has six thickness settings and pasta-making accessories include four detachable cutters, one pasta brush, a pasta roller, ravioli tools and two beautiful wooden scoops for flour. And if you’re new to the game and don’t know where to start, this pasta machine includes a recipe booklet.
Measuring 18 x 13.75 x 7.5 inches and weighing eight pounds, this would make a great gift for the pasta loving chef in your life.
- Made in Italy
- Durable construction, made from heavy-duty chrome-plated steel
- Easy to use
- Comes with tools, instruction booklet and recipes
- Pasta sometimes sticks to the holes
6. Best Budget Pick Manual: CHEFLY Sturdy Homemade Pasta Maker
If cooking is your passion and you want to make your fresh pasta at home, but think a pasta machine is too expensive, well, think again. Manual pasta machines are typically less expensive than electric models and this manual model from Chefly is one of the most affordable on the market.
This machine simplifies the task of making popular noodle shapes like fettuccine, lasagna, linguine, spaghetti, vermicelli, angel hair and tagliatelle. You can choose from nine different settings of dough thickness, from 0 to 2.5 millimeters, and two different dough widths, 7 millimeters or 2 millimeters. Numbers 1 to 5 on the dial are better for making thicker sheets for pasta, while numbers 6 to 9 produce thinner sheets, which work better for ravioli.
Measuring 7.8 x 7.48 x 5.98 inches and weighing 6.05 pounds, this compact model comes with a convenient clamp and a non-skid base to hold it in place. The brackets are made from stainless steel so there is no rusting and the roller and blades are nickel and chrome-plated steel for long-lasting durability.
When you’re done, just wipe the machine with a soft dry cloth and for any sticky bits, use a cleaning brush
- Compact design
- Nine different dough thickness settings
- Ravioli are very small
7. Best Budget Electric: Razorri Electric Pasta and Noodle Maker
Many people who live on their own don’t want to make huge quantities of food for each meal – unless the goal is to bulk prepare and then have leftovers or freeze for meals during the week. But when it comes to homemade pasta, the point is to eat it fresh, or over a day or two. This electric pasta machine from Razorri is not only affordably priced, it makes only two to three servings of pasta at a time, so you’re not second-guessing, over-producing or wasting food.
This machine lets you choose six different styles of noodles including fettucine, linguine, spaghetti, macaroni and udon. Simply add the right amount of flour, press start, and slowly add the liquid over a period of 20 seconds as the machine kneads the dough. You can customize the pasta by adding eggs, vegetable juice or spices, and when the dough looks a little too dry or like crumbly parmesan, it’s ready for extrusion. Once the noodles are made, you can cook them immediately or store in the fridge for up to a week.
- Affordably priced
- Lightweight at 7.7 pounds
- Removeable parts are dishwasher safe
- Makes small quantities at a time
- Tricky to clean
8. Best Splurge: Philips Pasta and Noodle Maker Plus
The final selection on our list, and electric pasta makers from Philips, is the most expensive, but for that investment, you can experiment with an almost endless number of ingredients, including herbs, egg, vegetable juices and gluten-free flour.
The machine will automatically mix, knead and extrude your pasta dough and there are four different shape options – spaghetti, fettuccini, penne and lasagna/dumpling. Quick and easy, you can make a half-pound of pasta in around 10 minutes.
The machine comes with a noodle cutter, cleaning tool and measuring cup and when you’re done making pasta, it’s easy to clean, with some parts dishwasher safe. The body of the pasta machine has a cute little drawer to store the shaping discs and cleaning tools, so there’s no worry that you’ll lose or misplace a piece. Also included is a handy recipe booklet with an ingredient list for different flours and 15 recipes for pasta and noodle dishes.
- Make a half-pound of pasta in 10 minutes
- Drawer to store shaping discs and cleaning tool
- Recipe booklet
Things to look out for:
Consider these things when looking for a pasta machine so you will choose a model that works best to suit your needs:
Manual versus electric
Before even looking at specific features, the first thing to consider is whether you want a manual or an electric model. Both have their advantages and disadvantages and the one you choose will depend on your personal preference and budget.
Manual: One advantage of choosing this kind of pasta machine is there are more manual models on the market to choose from. Another advantage is the price. Because there are so many models available is many different sizes, it’s easy to find one even if you’re on a budget. As well, a manual model is eco-friendly and energy efficient because you don’t need an electrical outlet for it to work. You can bring it anywhere and use it anywhere.
The downside to a manual model is that it takes time and it’s more work. You have to make the dough yourself, knead it and roll it out. Then you have to hand-feed it into the machine between the rollers and turn the crank by hand as the dough goes through the cutters. If you are a busy person, you just might not have the time needed to use a manual machine. As well, if you have arthritis and issues with your hands, it might end up being a painful and frustrating experience.
Electric: The best thing about an electric pasta maker how convenient and easy it is to use. It makes the process of making homemade simple for anyone and literally takes minutes to make a pound of fresh pasta. An electric pasta machine will mix and knead the dough and then extrude it out into the shape you choose, all with push of a button. All you have to do is pour in the ingredients, following the directions
The downside of an electric pasta maker is the cost. These machines are more expensive than a manual model, although there are models at the low and high end of the scale. As well, you do need an electrical outlet for it to work.
Pasta shapes: Manual and electric pasta machines deal with shapes and thicknesses differently. With manual models, it takes more patience and skill on your part to adjust the thickness of the dough, while with electric models, the pasta is pushed through a pre-set disc, so there is no room to customize the shapes. Before choosing a machine, make sure it is equipped with the kind of noodle shapes you want to make.
Photo credit: Africa Studio/Shutterstock