Is an Electric Pasta Machine the Key to Perfect Pasta at Home? We tested three electric pasta machines to see which one could make the best spaghetti, fettuccine, penne, and more.
Last Updated July 6, 2022.
We recently tested a couple more electric pasta machines. While we recommend these models, we still think the Philips Pasta Maker is the best option on the market. For more information, see the chart below.
Our favorite manual pasta maker, the Marcato Atlas 150 Wellness Pasta Machine, flawlessly rolls and cuts dough for perfect homemade fettuccine, sheets of lasagna, and angel hair pasta. But the Marcato and manual makers like it can’t produce extruded pasta such as spaghetti or tubular shapes such as macaroni and penne. Enter electric pasta makers, which promise not only to make these extruded pasta shapes but also to mix and knead the dough for you. Some even have built-in scales to weigh ingredients as you add them, so you don’t have to use a separate kitchen scale. But how well do these machines actually make pasta—and how easy are they to use and clean?
To find out, we tested three machines, priced from about $125 to about $250, and used them to make spaghetti, fettuccine, sheets of lasagna, and penne. For these tests, we followed the recipes provided in each of the machines’ instruction manuals. We also made two types of spaghetti—using our Master Recipe for Pasta Dough and gluten-free fresh pasta dough—with each of the models.
The three machines in our lineup were similarly designed. Each featured a mixing paddle centered inside a chamber topped with a transparent plastic perforated lid. Shaping disks were positioned in a holder at the front of each machine. To make pasta, we added the flour to the mixing chamber, closed the lid, turned on the machine, and slowly added the liquid ingredients (egg and water) through the perforated lid. Once the dough was mixed, the paddle reversed direction and slowly pushed the dough through the shaping disk. We then cut the pasta strands as the machine extruded the dough.
One of the machines was easier to use than the others. It had the simplest control panel, with limited options: start/stop, mix, and extrude. The control panels of the other two machines were less intuitive and more jumbled, with lots of buttons and settings.
Our favorite machine came with an extremely useful flat-edged tool for cutting the pasta as it was extruded through the shaping disk—we had to use kitchen shears for this task with the other two models. We also liked that this machine mixed the dough for just 3 minutes before extruding it (the slowest machine took about 5 minutes) and that its shaping disks were positioned vertically, so the extruding pasta was easy to see and cut. The disks of one machine faced downward toward the counter, making it hard to see the pasta as it came out.
The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing. We stand behind our winners so much that we even put our seal of approval on them.
Joe is a senior editor for ATK's books team and on-screen instructor for ATK's Online Cooking School.
Miye is a senior editor for ATK Reviews. She covers booze, blades, and gadgets of questionable value.