I broke my Atlas pasta maker - what did I do wrong?

by Sandi Kaplan
(San Francisco, CA)

Hi Matt,

First off thank you for your site. I bought a pasta maker and never had the courage to actually use it until I fell by chance across your site and your video for making pasta.

My dough came out great, or so I thought. It looked just like yours.

Put it through my Marcato Atlas pasta maker and got it nice and thin... and then all hell broke loose.

I put it through the fettuccine cutting part, all the dough got clogged, and a piece of the machine wound up bowing and breaking off. Had to dig the dough out with a knife for a while only to try it all over again and repeat the whole episode.

Was my dough too dry? Too wet? What I could salvage was delicious (though thick as a brick) and I'm inspired to try again.

Help please? And thank you again - I can't wait to hunker down with your site and read it from beginning to end.

Sincerely,

Sandi Kaplan.

PS: Wish I had thought to take a photo!

Answer:

Hi Sandi. First, thanks for your query. I'm glad you like the site and are feeling pasta-inspired :-)

First things first, in terms of your machine having broken, I'd suggest taking it back to the store (if still within the usual warranty period).

However, I've also sent the weblink of this page to Marcato in Italy (via the email addresses given at www.marcato.net), so we'll see if they have anything to add too.

As for the dough itself, it is at least possible that your dough was very wet, which might in turn have caused the initial clogging.

After you mixed your dough, did you roll it a little to get it flat enough to feed into the machine? This doesn't require much rolling - it's just about getting the dough thin enough to fit in the machine's rollers after all - but it's really an essential step. When rolling this way, you pretty much ensure that the dough isn't too wet, because if it sticks to the rolling pin then you have to add more flour to help it along, thus ensuring it's not really sticky by the time it hits the machine.

It sure is strange though that part of the machine broke, considering stainless steel is the order of the day. Could you explain which part out of curiosity?

Failing getting it fixed then, I guess you've 2 options:

1. Use the machine's main rollers to flatten it completely, working through the settings until the very thinnest (or the one just before that - you decide).

Then instead of using the now-defunct attachment, cut your tagliatelle by hand (easy!). This is explained near the end of this page.

2. Buy a new machine (double ouch!). In which case you might want to check out my thoughts over on this best pasta maker page.

Hope that's at least of some help, I sympathize with your pasta pain!

Matt.

Comments for I broke my Atlas pasta maker - what did I do wrong?

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Marcato feedback
by: Elena Marcato

Dear Matt,

I just read your reader's story but it is hard to figure out what went wrong with that machine.

There are many counterfeit MARCATO pasta machines on the market and I assure you that these are poorly made. If your customer literally follows our recipe that should not happen.

Maybe the scrapers are damaged, I don't know. I would like to see a picture of the pasta maker and a picture of the "clogged dough" if possible.

Could you ask your reader to contact me directly? Then I'll see what I can do. I'd love to help!

Elena Marcato
www.marcato.net

Great stuff!
by: Matt - Pasta Recipes Made Easy

Hi Elena,

Thanks very much for your quick response.

I will check with Sandi and if okay with her I'll put you both in touch.

Do let us know if you manage to solve this one!

Matt.

Thanks
by: Sandi

(by e-mail to Marcato)

Thank you so much for responding to Matt about my clogged dough in the machine problem. I assume it was my error and not the machine's. I purchased the machine used, so I don't know its history, nor do I know how old it is.

The machine is an Atlas, model 150 mm deluxe
Reg design No. 1048534. It does not say Marcato anywhere on it.

I attached some photos; unfortunately I don't have any of the clogged dough because I cleaned it all up before I thought to take photos.

Photo #1 is the entire machine. Photo #2 shows the piece that broke off. It was bowed but I bent it back into shape. I cannot get it back into the machine. Photo #3 is where the dough clogged up.

Any advice you can give me so that I can become a brilliant pasta maker - I assume I'll have to buy another machine first - would be greatly appreciated.

Very sincerely,

Sandi.

It's an oldie
by: Elena - Marcato

Just as I thought: it's the scraper giving you trouble.

Well, that machine is a bit "old". I can see it from the packaging; we haven't been producing that grey packaging in a while but I might be mistaken.

What is the manufacturing date printed under the base of the machine?

Please let me know, I remain at your complete disposal.

Elena.

Thank you
by: Sandi

Hi Elena,

The manufacturing date is September 2002. The machine is great condition considering how old it is; I'm impressed.

I must try to begin figuring out if my dough was too wet or too dry and hopefully not repeat the same episode!

Thank you again Elena.

Sincerely,

Sandi Kaplan.

A new beginning
by: Sandi Kaplan

Thank you Matt, I now think I know what I did wrong.

My dough went through the rolling part of the machine fine - didn't stick anywhere. But I only rolled it as thin as the #2 setting. It looked so thin at that point, I just fed it through the fettuccine cutter.

Maybe the consistency was all right but it was simply too thick for the machine still. Next time, I will follow directions... all the way though!

Will let you know when I attempt it again,

Sandi.

Marcato website GONE
by: david deer

I live in the UK and have great difficulty getting spares for my Marcato Atlas 180.

To date thre are no attachments for the 180, only the 150, so everything is done by hand. One of the rollers has de-chromed so I wanted to get a new one. Alas Marcato.net is not there any more!! If you have a link to their new site or any contact info I would be grateful.

Kindest Regards,
-David.

Think it's back...
by: Matt - Pasta Recipes Made Easy

Hi there,

I think maybe the site was down only temporarily, as I've just located the English version here.

Failing that, maybe such spares exist on ebay.co.uk?

Do let us know how you get on, and whether Marcato are any help or not.

Good luck!

Matt.

Thanks
by: David Deer

Thanks for the reply. The site is back up - hurrah!!

I have tried eBay and loads of UK suppliers but to no avail. Might have to fly to Milan.

I'll contact Marcato and see what they say.

Kindest Regards,
-David.

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