From ravioli makers to spaghetti measurers, kitchen and home goods stores are overflowing with pasta gadgets. Whether they’re all necessary is another matter entirely. Some might sneer at the idea of an electric pasta maker, while others will swear it’s an essential time-saving device. Ultimately, the usefulness of any given kitchen gadget is determined by what and how you cook. Still, when it comes to pasta, some tools are more practical than others. If you can’t get enough spaghetti, cavatappi, fusilli, or linguine, you’re going to want to stock your kitchen right. To aid you on your quest for pasta perfection, here are the best pasta gadgets your money can buy.
1. Marcato Atlas Pasta Machine
Dry pasta may be convenient, but it can’t compete with the fresh taste of homemade noodles. For home cooks who want to try their hand at pasta making, this Italian-made device is the best place to start. Marcato’s Atlas 150 Pasta Maker has nearly universal positive reviews, with everyone from Italian nonnas to novice cooks praising its ease of use and affordable price tag (you can get one of these pasta gadgets on Amazon for less than $70). “It’s a solid machine that rolls out smooth, very thin pasta and has an easy-to-use dial to change roller settings,” Laura Giannatempo writes in Fine Cooking.
2. Norpro Pasta Drying Rack
Once you start making your own pasta, you’re probably going to need a way to dry it. While you can improvise a pasta drying rack with stuff you have around the house, this budget-friendly model from Norpro is a must-have if you plan on making large quantities of noodles and drying them for future use. For less than $10, you can get your hands on this basic wooden rack, which can be disassembled for easy storage.
3. Calphalon Stainless Steel Stock Pot with Pasta Insert
Multipurpose tools are essential in cramped kitchens. This three-in-one stock pot from Calphalon also serves as a steamer and has a insert that makes draining pasta a breeze. Just lift the insert out of the pan when the pasta is done cooking — no need to struggle to drain the noodles over the sink. And at just $79.99, you’ll get your money’s worth with this affordable kitchen tool, which you’re likely to use for years to come.
4. OXO Good Grips Spiralizer
If you love pasta but worry that carbs are taking over your diet, the OXO Good Grips Spiralizer is going to be your new favorite kitchen gadget. You can use this hand-cranked device to turn zucchini, beets, sweet potatoes, and virtually any other vegetable into pasta-like strings.
The experts at The Sweethome spent more than 20 hours reviewing different spiralizers and found this one “outperformed every other model we tested due to its thoughtful design and ease of use.” They praised how the “sharp blades cut both firm and delicate vegetables with minimal effort, creating long noodles that don’t break apart” as well as the strong suction mechanism that keeps the device steady on your kitchen counter while working.
5. Primo Digital Kitchen Scale
Whether you’re making pasta or pancakes, you’ll get better results if you measure ingredients by weight, not volume. That’s one reason a kitchen scale is an essential tool in chef Nate Whiting’s pasta-making arsenal. “Proper and consistent measurement is essential in my kitchen. Volume may vary but weight is always absolute,” he tells Food & Wine. Whiting recommends the Escali line of scales. The brand’s Primo Digital Kitchen Scale is less than $25 on Amazon and comes in nine different colors, so you can pick one that matches your kitchen.
6. All-Clad Stainless Steel Sauté Pan
Don’t just spoon some sauce over your pasta and call it a day. “For most recipes, it’s important to finish the pasta cooking process in a sauté pan,” chef Mario Batali explains to Food52. “It binds the pasta to the condiment. I use a 12- to 14-inch sauté pan for a pound of pasta.”
At nearly $185, the All-Clad Stainless Steel Sauté Pan isn’t cheap, but you’ll keep it for a lifetime and use it almost every day. This three-quart workhorse (which has an interior diameter of 10½ inches) is not just good for finishing pasta, but also perfect for searing meats, frying, wilting greens, and making pan sauces. And with All-Clad as one of the most respected names in cookware, we think it’s well worth the investment.
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