About four years ago, I decided that I wanted nothing more than a really nice pasta machine for my birthday. Yes, I am one of those practical gift kinda girls. While I love the romantic stuff and things that sparkle, I also fully appreciate a gadget that I can use often and love for many years to come.

So I Googled and researched and read every review I could find about pasta machines online. I shortly considered getting a simple hand-crank machine, but really wanted something more fancy and automated than that. I know it’s less authentic if the machine is doing all the work, but it just sounded so practical to throw in the ingredients, turn on the machine and let it go to work. So I ultimately determined that the Simac Pastamatic (also more or less the same as the Lello PastaMaster 3000) was the best pasta machine for the job. I mean come on, it’s made by Italians! They know what they’re doing when it comes to pasta, right?

Features

  • Simple to Use — Operating this machine really couldn’t be much more simple. Add the flour and eggs or water, turn it on and watch as pasta is produced. The Pastamatic mixes and kneads the dough at the same time so once you’ve got the ingredients in there, you really only need to make sure you have the right consistency and cut your pasta to the right lengths as it comes out.
  • Easy to Clean — Even more important in my mind was that this machine be easy to clean — because when you’re cooking with raw eggs all the time, you don’t exactly what to end up with a bunch of that stuck in the machine. So I appreciated how simple this machine is to disassemble and clean. In the diagram below you can see all the bits and pieces that detach and can be cleaned.
  • Scalability — In the Pastamatic PM1400N1, you can make as little as 350 grams of pasta, or as much as 1.4 kilos of pasta at a time! I appreciated the diversity of the machine and you can literally make everything from various pastas to biscotti to bread dough (and their recipe book tells you how to form it as well), as long as you have the right discs. Most of the few times I have used this machine to make pasta, it was for 4 people, so it was very convenient and effective. I tend to go with bigger is better, and the 700gram version just seemed a bit chintzy to me at the time. But if you’re primarily going to be cooking pasta for two, the smaller model of the Pastamatic will certainly suffice.
  • Versatility — One of the things I really liked about the Pastamatic is the fact that is comes with eight different pasta shaping-discs already included in the package, and there are another thirteen which you can add purchase separately.  The standard discs include: spaghetti, bucatini, tagliatelle, maccheroni, lasagne, biscotti (cookies), fine tagliatella and cappellini. And the add on discs are: thick spaghetti, chitarra, pizza, filo d’oro, pappardelle, bucatino rigato, penne, breadsticks, ridged shells, country pasta, adjustable sheet, spätzle and gnocchi. (Oh yes German expats — this puppy will make Spätzle for you!) You can even use the Pastamatic to mix dough for you as I mentioned above.
  • Voltage— 220 – 240 volt/50hz
  • Power — 270 watt
  • Weight — 7,8 kg (18 lbs)
  • Dimensions (HxLxD): 310 x 180 x 300 mm (8 x 12 x 12-in)
  • Retail Price: €270+

My Review

The Pros

  • If you use it often, you should be able to make pasta with very little effort.
  • It’s easy to clean because everything comes apart so well. It even comes with a special device to open the pasta shoot so you can clean it thoroughly after pressing pasta. When the machine has finished, there is generally a lot of pressure on this valve, so it would be rather difficult to get it started without this tool
  • It’s quite versatile in the amounts it can make and what you can make besides just pasta.
  • The pasta recipes are delicious.
  • It’s fairly compact and a lot of the pieces can be stored inside the machine.
  • When this machine is sitting on your counter-top, it is not going ANYWHERE! No walking off the counter while it’s working or anything like that.
  • It has a handy measuring cup for the water/egg portion of the recipe process.

The Cons

  • It can be difficult to get the consistency right.
  • It’s loud! Not that my KitchenAid is silent. But the Pastamatic just seems to be a louder overall which I found rather surprising when I first got it.
  • Because the Pastamatic is so heavy, it makes it a bit cumbersome to store off the counter because it really is quite heavy.
  • It takes a while to make the pasta — or to find the right recipe balance. The advertisers’s website says you can make a batch of pasta in 20 minutes…but I honestly never managed to pull that off. In fact, the first night I tried this out — we needed about 3 hours to make pasta for four people. To say we were famished by the time the food was ready is an understatement.
simac pastamatic 1400

The dough shoot - the pasta dough drops through this trap door into the cylinder where it is pushed out through the attached shaping disc.

Conclusion

I still think the Simac Pastamatic / Lello PastaMaster 3000 was a decent investment and probably the best of its kind. It’s one of those machines that you should definitely leave on the counter to get the most use of it and it really does make pasta into a very simple task, as long as you find the right recipe balance.

I actually put my Pastamatic up on the auction block because I simply had no use for it anymore. Stefan and I received pasta making attachments for the KitchenAid last Christmas and we absolutely LOVE them. There really is no “easy” way to make pasta in my opinion. But the KitchenAid attachments are very cool and it goes quite fast — plus Stefan seems to have found the master recipe for making good pasta so we’re essentially thrilled whenever we manage to make it. And the KA attachments can also be stored in less space than the Pastamatic (and you’ve probably heard how crazy I am about saving space and decluttering these days).

And if you have questions about the Simac Pastamatic or the Lello PastaMaster, let me know and I’ll do my best to answer!

Have you ever made your own pasta? Do you use a hand machine or an electric one?

 

simac pastamatic

The dough hopper which mixes and kneads in one.