Recently, I got an email from CSN Stores - an online megamart for home, office, and school supplies/decor/appliances/whatever-else-you-may-need - asking if I'd be interested in reviewing a product of my choosing. I just moved into a new apartment, so I couldn't say no to a free kitchen appliance. I was given an $80 gift certificate to pick anything from their 200+ stores. After a long ice cream vs. pasta debate, I settled on a pasta machine. Time to give it another try!
I scanned the selection and settled on the CucinaPro Pasta Fresh 5 Machine, which is conveniently $79.99, plus free shipping. (Note: It appears to be out of stock at the moment.) The "5" refers to the five different types of pasta that it can make with the included attachments: angel hair, spaghetti, fettuccine, lasagnette, and ravioli (very small ones).
Complaint #1: Worst. Manual. Ever. This thing is full of typos and awkward wording, although I do appreciate the redundant reminders that cooking is great because you can "eat your mistakes." There are no assembly instructions, just vague pasta-making instructions. As a total newbie, I had no clue what to do with the various pieces of the pasta-making machine. In the image on the box, the attachments are spread out around the machine, so it took some time to realize how the attachments actually attached. I'm still a bit baffled by the ravioli attachment; that one will take some extra work.
Complaint #2: The clamp and the crank are a bit finicky as well. They don't lock into anything tightly, they just sort of balance on a lip. The whole apparatus feels a little shaky while it is in pieces. Once my roommate, Deb, and I finally figured out how to assemble and clamp it, though, it felt sturdy.
First, we sent some paper towels through to clean it out.
|Clamped securely to the table! The leftmost part is the fettuccine/angel hair attachment.|
First: the magic flour/egg well.
|Success! Minimal egg-al leakage!|
|Almost ready to knead...|
|Ever so slightly glossy!|
|Neat little piles of fresh pasta, ready to be plunged into boiling water.|
|If only you could smell this through your computer/iPad/whatever...|
|Crispy basil FAIL.|
|Fettuccine with chorizo and crispy basil|
As for the pasta machine, after the initial difficulties, I was actually very satisfied with its performance. I can't say anything about the other four types of pasta yet, but the fettuccine was relatively easy to make. The thickness seemed appropriate, and it wasn't too hard to avoid tearing the dough. For 80 bucks, this thing is a good deal. I've never used another pasta machine, so I really have no basis for comparison, but I'd certainly recommend this one to a friend...along with some helpful assembly tips.
Disclaimer: As noted above, I received an $80 gift certificate from CSN to put towards the purchase of a product of my choice to review. I did not receive any other compensation. All reviews on Fork it over, Boston! are my honest and complete opinion, regardless of the cost or lack thereof of the product, restaurant, or service. Receiving products, food, or services for free or at a discount does not obligate me to write a positive review or any review at all. All products, food, drink, or services received for free or at a discount are noted.