Marcato Pastamaker

Inspired by regional traditions of France and Italy, cooks, farmers, storekeepers, and adventurous eaters in the 1980s led the charge to revitalize and reinvent an artisanal world of food largely ignored in America. They turned to the fresh, local, and regional in the United States, and, with the European influences, developed a new American cuisine.
In the 1980s, the old American standby “spaghetti,” was transformed into “pasta,” and both pasta making machines and highly refined (0 0) Italian flour for making fresh pasta came on the market. This pasta machine, a highly popular version made in Italy by Marcato and successfully marketed in the new American kitchenware stores such as Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table.
With its different attachments, the machine presses out the dough fed into it into various shapes, capelli d’angelo (angel’s hair), trenette, spaghetti, and curly lasagna, in addition to simple sheets of pasta from which one can make ravioli or lasagna.
The machine was purchased by the son of a retired Foreign Service officer as a gift for his mother to remind her of the family’s time living in Italy. However, this particular machine remained little used by his mother and she agreed to put it, through her daughter, a curator at the museum, into the Smithsonian food collections.
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
overall: 6 in x 8 in x 7 1/2 in; 15.24 cm x 20.32 cm x 19.05 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Betty Jean Boudreau
Food Culture
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Food: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History


Add a comment about this object