While this is mainly a review of the Fantes Pasta Machine, we’ll cover a selection of items all from the same manufacturer, none of which I would mind receiving as a gift.
Made in Italy, authentic looking, packaged simply but rather nicely and each complementing the other, it would not be surprising if these started selling out around Christmas time.
A Disappointing Opening
The first piece is, as you might be expecting, a pasta maker much like one you can find in any department store – on the lower shelves, to be specific. While it is an okay buy at this price, we’d never have normally mentioned it on this site due to quality concerns.
As is usual, the roller comes standard with a fettuccine and spaghetti cutter, with the option of buying a ravioli filler.
There is also another attachment available, capable of slicing angel hair noodles as well as zig-zagging lasagna for a more interesting appearance. It may be possible to fit this last, rather special, add-on to some other pasta rollers, but we’re not counting on it.
But a Grand Finish
Where this selection of products does shine is in its ability to produce textured pasta. Except when talking about alphabet soup letters, appearance is far from the only reason why there are so many pasta shapes to choose from.
Texture plays a role, of course, but the main thing is how well different sauces tend to stick to it. Of all the pasta makers on our list of best pasta makers, only this utensil set and the Philips HR2375 have the ability to make rigati. This is a ridged pasta that can hang on to a lot more of a thin or less sticky sauce and that all-important flavor.
This is why many people who make gnocchi like to dimple the surface with a fork, but you can without a doubt do a lot better by using a gnocchi board. Simply place each dough ball on the surface, press down and to the side and receive a little gnocchi that’s not only beautifully ridged, but a lot puffier.
Pasta You’ve Never Heard Of
You may also use this for capunti. Or try your hand at garganelli, for a meal that will be all the more satisfying for the time you put into it (as making individual pasta pieces by hand takes quite a while until you get the hang of it).
Just know that the ridges on your pasta may be deeper, shallower, coarser, or finer than at your favorite restaurant; there’s no universally correct version here.
Perhaps you’d like something very similar (as so many named pasta shapes are!) but you don’t relish the idea of spending an entire morning cooking for four people. In this case, you will probably be better off with the catavelli machine which, along with a pasta hanging rack, rounds out this set.
With this gadget, you don’t need to worry about applying consistent pressure, twisting your thumb the right way, or getting everything the same size and shape. Simply cut your lasagna into strips, insert one end between the rollers and start churning.
You can use a hand-rolled “worm” of dough instead, but cranking the handle takes a lot of effort when used in this way. On the other hand, it can be difficult to get totally uniform results using pre-rolled sheets.
- The authentic way to make several kinds of short and dumpling pasta
- Good as a gift for the chef who has (nearly) everything
- Reasonably priced
- Requires skill, practice, and good dough to use
- Pasta roller itself is not actually that great
- Many purists will not be satisfied with the exact shapes - it can't please everyone