The Italian company Marcato makes a number of pasta machines and accessories, including the Ampia pasta machine. If you don’t have the time or patience to use a wooden dowel to roll out pasta in true old-school fashion, a metal hand-crank pasta machine like the Ampia makes your life easier. Although most Italian pastas are made from a base of semolina flour, salt, olive oil, and eggs, this pasta machine works well for other types of pasta as well.
Mount your Ampia pasta machine near the edge of a table or counter using the enclosed vice grip that threads into the machine. Crank it down tight; the only thing that should move on the machine when you turn the handle is the handle itself. The machine should stay in place as you crank.
Switch the dial on your pasta machine to 1, which is the thickest thickness setting. Roll a small piece of pasta dough flat enough that it will fit between the rollers on the machine.
Feed the piece of dough through the rollers, cranking the machine slowly to pull the dough through. As the dough passes through, it will flatten. If the dough sticks, dust it lightly with a little flour and then put it through one more time.
Continue feeding the dough through the machine in the same way, but change the dial to a progressively higher number each time. The higher the number, the thinner the pasta, but you have to go through each number in order or the dough will break and tear and you will have to start over. Stop when your fresh pasta is as thin as you want.
Slide your desired noodle cutter into place using the grooves on your pasta machine. The fettuccine and spaghetti noodle attachment mounts on the front of your pasta machine using metal grooves.
Move the handle from the pasta machine to the noodle cutter attachment and then feed sheets of pasta dough through like you did when you were rolling the pasta. Please note that there is no thickness dial to adjust on the pasta cutter. Fettuccine can be made using the wide side and spaghetti can be made using the thinner side of the cutter; flip the cutter over to view whichever side is not on top.
Brush any flour and debris from the rollers and cutter using a dry pastry brush.
Moisten a clean dish cloth with a little warm water and then wipe all flour and debris away from the machine.
Allow all parts of the machine to air dry thoroughly for a few hours or overnight before putting the machine away.
- "Marcato Ampia: Instructions for Use and Maintenance"; Marcato
- While a pasta machine mechanizes some of the task of making pasta, making the dough and portioning it out to fit in the machine is still largely intuitive. As you make more pasta, you will learn what the dough feels like when it is the correct texture to go into your machine. You will also learn exactly how much dough to try to put through the machine at once. Because humidity and temperature affect pasta dough, exact measurements are not practical.
- If you are making gluten free pasta, use gluten-free flour for dusting the counter---not just in your dough.
- Do not submerge any part of your pasta machine in any liquid---even soapy water---at any time. To prevent damage, do not use harsh cleaners on it.