I broke my Atlas pasta maker - what did I do wrong?
by Sandi Kaplan
(San Francisco, CA)
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.
PS: Wish I had thought to take a photo!
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!