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The Chitarra - One of the First Pasta Makers

The Chitarra - One of the First Pasta Makers

 

The chitarra is one of the oldest traditional pasta making devices, now often overshadowed by widely available, modern pasta makers. Though no longerly nearly as popular as its modern counterparts, the chitarra remains a great, effective, and easy way to make your own homemade pasta. So, what is it, where does it come from, and - most importantly - what delicious pasta does it create?

 

WHERE DOES THE CHITARRA COME FROM AND WHAT, EXACTLY, IS IT?

 

Originating and still commonly found in the Abruzzo region of Italy, the Chitarra is a “pasta guitar” consisting of a dual-sided wooden frame strung on each side with a series of evenly spaced parallel taught wires. Pasta dough, consisting of eggs and flour kneaded until smooth and elastic, is rolled out into sheets and placed atop the frame. A rolling pin is then firmly used to press the dough against the wires, which slice the sheet into uniform noodles.

 

SPAGHETTI ALLA CHITARRA


Once cut, the chitarra noodles are tossed gently to separate, set aside briefly and cooked in boiling, salted water. Unlike the flat, thin noodles of modern pasta makers, chitarra noodles have a square shape. While traditionally served in Abruzzo with a lamb ragu or tomato sauce, these hearty chitarra noodles are almost universally functional, and make a great pairing for your favorite pasta sauce.

 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE CHITARRA?

 

Texture: Chitarra noodles have rougher texture than those made with a pasta maker, meaning that sauce clings to them beautifully.

 

Easy: The chitarra is a quick, easy and straightforward pasta making tool. Whereas modern pasta makers roll-out dough to thinner and thinner sheets before cutting, the chitarra only requires dough be rolled out into a sheet before cutting. Since the desired result is for a square shaped pasta, dough does not need to be rolled out until very thin.

It’s cool: To be honest, the chitarra is a really cool addition to a pasta making arsenal. It looks great, creates an amazing final product, and has an interesting history as one of the original Italian pasta making devices - which can make for excellent conversation while enjoying your spaghetti alla chitarra with friends, family, and guests.

 


 

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