Marcato Atlas 150 pasta machine review
There's something magical in homemade pasta, and the easiest way to prepare it is to use pasta machine. For my birthday last year I've got the Marcato Atlas 150 pasta machine designed by Italian-native company, which offers 3 different types of pasta straight from the box: lasagna, tagliatelle and spaghetti.
I had some time to use it since then, and it's time to share my findings and some tips&tricks on how to enjoy making your delicious homemade pasta!
Why pasta machine?
I like good, firm and springy pasta, and all the recipes that come with it: lasagna, ravioli, pappardelle, tagliatelle, spaghetti, and many more. You can buy lots of these in the shop, and they will be probably just fine, at least until you make your first homemade batch of pasta, and taste the difference...
The homemade pasta is amazing, even if you make a mistake or it gets stuck. It has this delicious, rich flavor and texture, inviting you to almost eat it alone like a snack!
Why Marcato pasta machine?
I must admit, that my research here was simple: I wanted to buy a sturdy, efficient, precise machine, that won't break my piggy bank too much. At the same time I was also considering buying a new mixer (given up that time though), so I compared standalone machines with their mechanized-attachment counterparts.
It turns out Marcato is something close to a legendary brand, and the name tends to float into discussions over the Internet. There're cheaper brands, but they are either simplistic, or don't offer the same level of sturdiness. On the other hand, well-known brands offer pasta machines as mixer attachments, but I found the price rather discouraging (read about that later in the review).
What makes Marcato Atlas 150 special?
<a href="http://s3.amazonaws.com/cookarr-images/details/000/000/157cbb0499b356b00dc11924e26c487dca7d3157494.jpeg?1455558472" data-lightbox="Marcato Atlas 150" style="float:left; margin-right: 20px"><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/cookarr-images/details/000/000/157cbb0499b356b00dc11924e26c487dca7d3157494.jpeg?1455558472" width=100 /></a> This pasta machine is amazingly designed. Starting from the first impression, every detail is thought-through, each little part has its part in the whole machine. The complexity of this particular construction is not clear at first, but believe me when I say, that there are special combs made of resin, that keep the cutters clean and also help detaching the cut pasta from the roller surface. Simply brilliant!
Speaking of the rollers, and construction, the only 2 plastic parts of this device are plastic handle for the crank, and montage screw's cap. And even these parts seem virtually indestructible and substantial. Everything else is made with aluminium and polished steel, making it not only easy to handle (not too light, nor too heavy), but also great-looking.
I managed to find my model for around 45€ (consisting of 1 roller unit and extra cutter for tagliatelle or spaghetti), and while you can find off-brand roller models for around half that price, I think the materials and engineering is worth it. On the other hand, a single-pasta attachment for a mixer usually costs around 60€, and the whole set could easily skyrocket in price to a whooping 160-180€ for the same functionality. For me it didn't make much sense to pay this much.
Nitty-gritty, i.e. using and cleaning
Usage of this machine is rather easy: you place it on the counter, then use attached montage hook to screw it together, then attach the crank. I had no problem whatsoever with montage, even in my tiny kitchen. I could've tried using it without the montage hook, because the machine is rather heavy, but I didn't want to risk it.
When you finally have the machine in place and ready, just start rolling the dough, starting from the level 0. Do it few times, then switch to level 1-to-9, making the pasta 50% thinner each time. I rarely need to go past level 7, since it's almost paper-thin by that moment, making delicious, delicate pasta I craved so much for. Of course, there's a very well written and informative instruction booklet attached, including pasta dough recipe, suggested thinness levels for different kinds of pasta, and very detailed cleaning instructions.
Speaking of cleaning, with this machine it's piece of cake. A rule of thumb is: never use water. I bought the cheapest kitchen brush to remove excess of the flour and it works wonders! If you follow the recipe for the pasta dough, you will have no trouble cleaning the machine at all, at least I have'd no problems whatsoever.
Do you remember how excited I was about the resin combs earlier in this review? Apparently, designers went a step further, and made a smart rod-mounting system for these combs, making it super easy to remove them, clean everything, then reassemble whole machine in just few minutes. I was very surprised how easy it was, and how effortless the whole cleaning process went.
Marcato Atlas 150 is an excellent pasta machine: it's affordable, sturdy, easy to use and efficient. I always have great fun making pasta with it, and I truly recommend you get one. They only weak-spot might be the price, but as they say buying cheap, you buy twice ;-)
PS: This article is not sponsored anyhow, nor I'm affiliated with Marcato. I received the machine from my family, and they bought it with their personal money.