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Marcato Atlas Wellness 150 Pasta Maker, Stainless Steel
Size: 150 mmColor: Stainless SteelChange
Price:$70.25+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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1,591 of 1,607 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon July 5, 2011
I've been tempted to try making fresh pasta for decades, but shied away from getting a pasta maker because I thought it would be difficult and messy, and that it was at least a two-person job. I was wrong on all counts. I took a cooking class when I was in Rome recently, and the Italian chef/instructor had not one but TWO Marcato Atlas 150 pasta makers that he used in both his restaurant and cooking classes. Among other things we did in the cooking class, we made fresh pasta, and I was astounded how easy it was. With only the briefest instruction, we made enough pasta to feed 12 hungry people in a matter of minutes. I bought the Atlas 150 for myself the minute I got home, and have been making pasta, all by myself, ever since. It's very easy, but getting the dough right is absolutely key to success.

You'll never be happy with this or any other pasta maker if you don't get the dough right. If it's sticking to the roller or cutters, or the noodle strands come out of cutter stuck together, it's NOT the fault of the pasta maker, it's because THE DOUGH IS TOO WET - period. It's fine to use a dough "recipe," but you simply cannot rely on a recipe to produce dough that isn't too wet or too dry - there are too many variables. The type/blend/brands of flour, the temperature and humidity of your kitchen, the size/temperature of the eggs, if the dough has oil in it or not. . .all these things affect the dough. A recipe can be a good guide - a place to start - but you must be prepared to tinker with the dough to get it just right.

To make my favorite pasta I generally use equal parts of all-purpose and semolina flours. I add salt and olive oil to taste - for me that's about a scant ½ teaspoon of each per egg. I like pasta made with AP flour alone - it's silky smooth and delicious - but I prefer the gorgeous color, and extra flavor and "bite" that comes by adding the high-protein semolina. That said, I like my fettuccine noodles a little softer, so when I make it I add just a little semolina flour or none at all - it's just that easy to make it the way you like. I've learned that I can count on one generous serving for every egg in the dough - a simple way to determine how much to make. Without using any real measuring devices, I "eyeball" the amount of salt and oil needed according to the number of eggs, then add flour until it feels right, and that's as close as I ever get to a "recipe."

I use my food processor with the dough blade to mix the dough. I start with all the eggs (room temperature), the salt, oil and enough flour to make a wet slurry. I keep adding flour(s) until the dough gathers together to form a single cohesive ball/blob, then continue adding flour until the ball starts to crumble. When it does, I stop and pinch some of the them together to test the consistency - at first the crumbles are large and pinch together in a wet, sticky dough. I keep processing in more flour, again and again, until the crumbles get smaller and start resembling coarse meal - a little smaller than the size of peas. When I can finally pinch the crumbles and they hold together without being remotely sticky, I gather and pinch it all together by hand forming a somewhat shaggy looking ball. (If I add too much flour while the dough is in the food processor, I process in a few drops of room temperature water to correct it.) Whether you make your dough by hand, in a stand mixer, or any other method, this is the consistency the dough ball should be BEFORE resting it.

After this the ball of dough should be wrapped in plastic and left to rest at room temperature (not in the fridge) for at least 20-30 minutes before rolling and cutting - this ensures that every particle of flour is completely hydrated, and allows the gluten to relax which makes it easier to roll. The dough that might have seemed a little too dry and stiff before this rest, will now be more pliable and the perfect consistency for rolling and cutting per the pasta maker instructions.

The single most important step to successfully making homemade pasta is NOT making the dough too wet. One reviewer here suggests practicing to "get the feel" for the consistency of the dough, and s/he's absolutely right. Another says to dust with "flour, flour, and more flour" when rolling and cutting the pasta, and s/he's absolutely wrong. If you have to add that much flour when rolling and cutting your pasta, THE DOUGH IS TOO WET - period. Think about it. . .it doesn't matter if a sheet of too-wet dough is dusted in a mountain of dry flour. . .the roller/cutters will squish/cut right through it and expose the sticky wet dough inside, and when it does, IT WILL STICK.

With practice I promise you'll get the hang of it. I have, and now I can roll and cut pasta with little or no additional flour, and it's an absolute delight to make pasta without it sticking, and without flour spread all over the kitchen. The importance of achieving the proper consistency/hydration of the dough is the lesson I learned from a seasoned Italian chef in Rome, and I'm here to say that it works. It will work for you too - don't give up.
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HOW THIS PASTA MAKER DIFFERS FROM ALL THE REST ==> The "Wellness" innovation on this pasta machine is no gimmick. The rollers and cutters on Atlas Wellness makers are made of anodized aluminum with a special "micro-rough" surface that grabs the dough better. And because the rollers and cutters are free of heavy metals, such as chromium and nickel, there is no chance that particles of these harmful metals can be released into the pasta - hence the name "Wellness."

Marcato is the largest manufacturer of pasta machines worldwide, and the "Wellness" feature is their exclusive patent. While the Marcato pasta maker is widely copied by others (and even counterfeited in China), no other manufacturer offers rollers and cutters that are free of heavy metals. The Wellness feature, along with Marcato's 3-year warranty, is worthy of consideration when comparing this pasta maker to other brands that have nickel-plated rollers/cutters and only a 1-year warranty.
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This is the only pasta maker I've ever owned or used, but the obvious endorsement of an Italian chef, food-safe anodized aluminum rollers, and a 3-year warranty made my decision to get this one a no-brainer. It works great for me and I find it extremely easy to use. Clean-up is just as easy so long as it's not been used to roll and cut overly-wet dough. A clean, dry pastry brush does most of the work, but a can of compressed air can help blast flour from little spaces with ease. I also send wax paper sheets through the cutters to dislodge anything that might be left behind, and the wax also "lubricates" the cutters. I just fold a piece into two or three layers to fit the width of the cutter, then roll it through - no worries - it shreds the paper, but it doesn't hurt a thing and works great.

My favorite website for all things pasta, and for pasta-making inspiration is - mangiabenepasta-dot-com. Don't wait as long as I did to enjoy the pleasures of making and eating fresh pasta - buona fortuna!
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253 of 265 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2006
I really wanted a metal manual pasta machine, but was discouraged as I read details about other machines. I finally opted for the Atlas 150 - it was reasonably-priced, made in Italy, and had garnered positive reviews.

I am posting because I want to tell you that this machine lived up to its billing. It is easy to use, convenient, and a cinch to clean. My wife (she's half Italian) and I previously made pasta by hand. Thanks to this machine, our process has been signficantly reduced. We are eating fresh pasta more frequently, and the pasta it produces--if working with a reliable recipe (which we do)--garners compliments at our dinner parties.

I recommend that you have two people to work with the dough as you crank it through the machine. Trust me, it will make your life easier. Plus you can enjoy conversation and time spent with your partner.

I bought this machine around Thanksgiving (2006). Absolutely no regrets. Highly recommended!
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181 of 196 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2010
My mother bought one of these in the early 70's. I bought one in the early 80's.

WARNING: DO NOT USE ANY WATER IN CLEANING. IT WILL RUIN IT. (The old directions were in Italian and it's hidden in there someplace.)

Making the dough is a little tricky. Here is an exact recipe to use with King Arthur's Flour. Personally, I prefer flour I get from Montana Flour & Grains in Ft. Benton, MT. (I'm not associated with either company.) Cheaper flours will not work as well as the moisture content varies too much and they aren't as "sticky."

2 cups flour
1 egg (as fresh as possible)
1/3 cup water

I mix mine in a bread machine until it's thoroughly mixed and then put it on a floured board to shape it gently pressing with the heel of the hand until it forms a circle as wide as the roller. Press an end a little thin so it feeds through easier.

The dough should be dry enough so if you throw a ball of it against the ceiling, it won't stick.

Roll it through a couple times on setting 1, then fold it in half and do it a couple more times. Then you can increase the number 1 at a time until you get to the desired thickness. If it's too moist, dust a bit with flour. If it tears apart, it's too moist.

For lasagna, I cut it in strips with a pizza cutter. There is no need to boil the noodles before cooking in lasagna, but be careful not to leave any edges exposed or they will get hard.

For pierogi, I use a cap about 3 1/2 inches round to cut circles. A small metal coffee can works well, too.

Although others might work as well as this one, they might not. Why take the chance?
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269 of 297 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2007
I got this pasta maker based on feedback from this and similar web sites. As always, the quality of the pasta depends on the quality of the dough - and that takes some practice. Once I had a good recipe and decent results rolling out by hand, the addition of this machine made life great!

Despite the jokes about Fiats and other Italian machinery - this machine is world class. It is heavy, solid and built to tight tolerances. You need to cut your pasta to fit and it's nice to have another set of hands, but once you get used to it the results are amazing!

I also got the ravioli attachment which is awesome. This machine will last forever if you care for it (do not immerse!) and makes a super fresh pasta dinner in less than an hour. My Sicilian mother (rest in peace) would be jealous!
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2013
This is a very wonderful machine that needs no praise from me added to the hundreds of others who got it before I did. But there's something very weird in its instruction manual that I'm surprised hasn't come up before. In the "Maintenance of the Machine" section, the manual says, "If necessary put several drops of vaseline oil on the ends of the cutting rollers."

"Vaseline oil" is not a familiar product to Americans. Vaseline petroleum jelly and Vaseline brand hand lotions are the only familiar products called "vaseline" in this country; the photo in the manual shows a small, thin-tipped plastic bottle being used to apply the vaseline oil, so it clearly is NOT the product we call Vaseline or any kind of hand lotion. It was surprisingly hard to find out even online what "vaseline oil" is ("olio di vaselina" in Italian, which even in the Italian Wikipedia redirects to the petroleum jelly article).

I finally discovered that what is needed is a light, clear, non-toxic oil that never dries out or becomes gummy, which means mineral oil. It's used as a laxative (in much larger amounts than a couple of drops at the end of the rollers in this machine) and is available at all drug stores, nearly all supermarkets, and here at Amazon (but a lot more expensive here: it's under two dollars a pint at Wegmans and several times that price here).

Mineral oil is also what's used to protect wooden cutting boards, rolling pins, spoons, etc—any wooden article that regularly comes in contact with moisture—so there are plenty of other uses for it around the kitchen. It's perfectly safe in contact with food in the quantities used, it has no color or taste or smell, and it never gets rancid or gummy (which ALL vegetable oils do eventually).
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64 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2009
I had been making home made pasta and it was quite good but I had the hardest time getting it thin enough, I could but it was just so much work. I posed a question to my cooking group and they said get some kind of pasta machine. They all had recommendations but basically only two, the Atlas Original and the Imperza. As I researched them, there didn't seem to be much difference between them, both high quality and both made in Italy. I bought the Atlas because it had free shipping on Amazon and the Impreza didn't and the Impreza was not supplied by Amazon but another supplier through Amazon. Amazon has a such a great return policy, they even pay for the shipping should you have to return it. So the decision had been made and I ordered it.

In the mean time, I went to work designing a system to address everyone's complaint about any of the manual pasta makers, that is the clamp and the necessity to have two people. I don't want my wife in the same town when I make pasta, it looks like flour wars when I am through, but it is all cleaned up by the time she comes back.

I bought a board at Walmart for $[...] and I had everything else I needed. I hope this picture comes through if not I am also going to give the actual address that can be viewed in your browser.
[...]

With the saving on the shipping I bought Cooks Illustrated Pasta and Noodle instruction book, in my life time I would never get through all these recipes. Bascially I use their recipe for pasta, 3 cups of APF and 3 eggs, today I used 4 cups of flour and 4 eggs, simple enough, the extra cup was whole wheat, I have never done this before, so I don't know how it will work, I think it will be good. Whole wheat is somewhat harder to work with, but I suspect you would get the knack after a couple of trys.

I like working with the dough so this is just what I wanted and it looks like it will get passed down, really built well. If you want a pasta maker and don't mind hand making the pasta as opposed to the machines that basically mix the pasta and extrude the pasta, this is a very nice choice. I haven't tried the cheaper ones, it is possible you could get lucky, but I wouldn't mess around and get the real deal, you won't be sorry.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2010
I have owned this piece for about 30 years. Back then there was little choice of makers - manual or electric. Actually, it was the only one I could find and seeing it was the same piece I was first trained on, I was happy. I have never used another manual unit so I have nothing to compare with perfection. Therefore, my comments here are limited to this Atlas machine.
Simply put, it has functioned magnificently for 30 years and hundreds (and I mean hundreds) of batches of pasta. What more can I say? Longevity is a consistency with this piece as two of my sisters have the same piece. One of these is less than 5 years old and I did use it - it is identical in style, weight and quality to my 30 year old unit.
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67 of 77 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2006
I've read some horror stories about making pasta with a machine, so I was prepared for it to be a challenge. It couldn't have been easier! It rolled and cut effortlessly. The key must be the dough ... which can't be sticky or overly dry. I made mine with 3 eggs and 300 grams of bread flour in a Kitchenaid mixer with a dough hook. The dough was a little on the dry side so I added a few drops of water. Then I wrapped the dough in plastic wrap for 30 minutes and let it rest before rolling. There was absolutely NO clean-up needed for the machine when I was finished. Great fun!
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128 of 151 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2008
I purchased this machine after a terrible experience with my Kitchenaid pasta attachments. I had no luck producing pasta and ended my experience in tears,not a good way to pursue a favorite hobby. When my Atlas arrived I followed the directions and within an hour I had produced a lovely bowl of fresh spinach pasta which my husband and I promptly ate!!!!! My husband took a turn and he produced a perfect batch on his first attempt. Somtimes simple is exactly what is needed since the price of the Kitchenaid rollers is well over a hundred dollars and the Atlas was a bargin with free shipping as well. I can't say enough good things about the Atlas plus they have a very informative web site. Bellisimo ...J.P.
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53 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2009
Bought the 180 yesterday. As this is my first pasta maker, I planned to spend all afternoon in Pasta Laboratory, but the first batch was good, the second better, the third (which was dinner, tossed with Marcela Hazan's pink shrimp sauce with cream) perfect. Just be patient and careful about adding flour to your eggs---you want just enough to keep the dough from sticking to your hands and counter as you knead, and not a dash more. I found I needed to add a bit of flour now and again as I kneaded. Ignore precise flour-to-egg ratios, as the amount of flour required will depend on the size and temp of your eggs, the humidity in your kitchen, and the nature of your flour. Go by touch.

If making the dough is easy, this machine makes the rest idiot-proof (just remember that if you've rolled the pasta on the thinnest setting, it will cook in two minutes or less). It's heavy, attractive, and well-made. I fully expect to leave it to charity or a child when I depart. But do ignore Amazon's product title! The machine is not made of stainless still, and will not take kindly to water. Just sweep it with a basting brush reserved for the purpose.
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