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Atlas brand pasta machine

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I started looking around today for a hand cranked pasta machine. The Atlas model was most recommended and has good reviews at Amazon. It's made in Italy and is stainless steel.

So I thought I'd see what the combined knowledge or our forum could tell me.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #2 of 16
There was a similar thread recently. http://www.cheftalk.com/forums/cooki...-machines.html The Atlas got 2 "thumbs-ups" there. One was from me, the other from a chef.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yep, there it is just a little further down the page. Missed that one somehow. One of the local kitchen specialty shops has it at the same price as Amazon.

Any recommendations on cutter heads or shall I just cut it by hand.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #4 of 16
Is there any reason one would choose a stainless pasta machine over a chitarra shown here?

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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

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post #5 of 16
I recommend against the Atlas. I received one as a wedding gift. It didn't separate linguini reliably. It was also a real PITA to use: Feeding the dough in the top and catching the noodles out the bottom so they don't bunch up takes me two hands. Operating the crank with my feet is difficult.

If you've got a KitchenAid stand-mixer, I strongly recommend the pasta attachments for it.
post #6 of 16
I haven't used the KitchenAid, but my thought is that if the noodles are sticking together, you are doing things differently than I am.
post #7 of 16
I've seen the Atlas operated by two people working in tandem: the feeder who also cranks the machine and the receiver who "catches" the cut product in both hands.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

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post #8 of 16
The problem wasn't that the noodles were sticking together; the problem was that they weren't being cut apart.
post #9 of 16
I got an Atlas more than 20 years ago and it is still my all time favorite kitchen gadget. The spaghetti/linguini cutter that came with cuts the strands with no difficulty ar all. It definately gets my vote.
post #10 of 16
I've had an Atlas at home for many years. It works very well and it will probably out live me. I have no idea if it's "the best" but it is a very good machine and only $70 on Amazon. I was in Sur la Table Yesterday and the machine looks the same today as it did 20 years ago. I have no difficulty cranking with one hand and catching the pasta with the other. The cutters have always worked well for me.
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #11 of 16
Phil, you read my mind.

I was just thinking about getting a new pasta roller machine; my last POS machine started to fall to bits and I thought, what the heck, get an Atlas. But I have had the same problem in the past with needing three hands. One hand holds the pasta sheet feeding in, one turns the crank, and one pulls the pieces out of the bottom. I have heard good things about the KitchenAid pasta cutter attachment, but I wonder what you folks think about them. How do they compare to an Atlas? Years ago Marcella Hazan said that electric was better if you weren't going to do it by hand (i.e. with a pin), but she's not the absolute authority or anything.
post #12 of 16
There should be no pieces sticking together, in my experience. My guess is that some are making the dough with too much water.

I don't think that making pasta dough too wet necessarily makes the final product worse, but it makes it a lot harder to handle. Dusting it with flour while rolling and cutting is important too.

When the dough is too wet it's almost impossible to work with. Use just enough water to get the dough to hold together. Use as much AP flour as you need while rolling and cutting, and very gently shake off the excess flour before cooking.
post #13 of 16
And, a wetter dough is fine for gnocci and other stuff that's prepared differently.
post #14 of 16
The advantage to an Atlas over a chitarra is that the Atlas not only cuts the dough but that it rolls it out as well. In fact, it's a better roller than a cutter in that the cutting options are so limited.

If you have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, the roller/cutter attachment, although not hand-cranked, is an excellent option. But, like most KA attachments it's pricey.

FWIW, if you want round pastas like spaghetti as opposed to flat like fettucine you'll need to buy an extruder. There are a number of good mixer/extruders available.

I've had my Atlas for at least twenty years. Highly recommended. Probably the best machine of its type. You can add a motor later if you like, although we never have. Be aware that fresh pasta isn't "better" than dried.

Hope this helps,
BDL
post #15 of 16
ChrisLehrer,

I have a set of the KitchenAid attachments and I love them. Before I donated my Atlas to Goodwill, I never really used it because it was such a PITA. Now I make fresh linguini every time I make Bolognese, which is about once a month.

OregonYeti, I used exactly the same recipe and preparation method when I switched from the Atlas to the KitchenAid. Maybe my Atlas was just defective, but it still took three hands to operate. By comparison, the process with my KA is just a simple joy.

As for the electric drive on the Atlas... I took a look at one of those once. If I already had an Atlas, maybe I'd think it was worth it... But the motor is about the same price, by itself, as the roller, spaghetti and linguini cutters for the KA. Add in the price of the Atlas machine itself, and it's more expensive to go that route, plus you've got the extra storage space to spend.
post #16 of 16
KitchenAid is making this now, too: the gourmet specialty attachment pack. It lists for $139.00 US at the KitchenAid site.

If you already have the food grinder, you can get this for under $25 at Amazon (PLEASE USE THE CHEF TALK LINK :)): Amazon.com: KitchenAid SNPA Pasta Maker Plates for Food Grinder Attachment for Stand Mixers: Home & Garden
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