How To Make Spaghetti alla Chitarra
The chitarra, pictured above, is an implement that has been used for ages to make fresh noodles in the Abruzzo region of Italy. It has a wooden frame that is strung with several taut parallel wires, reminiscent of a guitar, hence the name “chitarra” which is “guitar” in English.
A long rectangle of pasta dough is pushed through the wires with a rolling-pin to make noodles. Although the instrument is old, my method is not. Below I show how to make Spaghetti alla Chitarra with a food processor to form the dough. Old World meets New World and fresh pasta noodles couldn’t be easier, or more fun!
Spaghetti alla Chitarra Recipe
2 c. all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
1 t. kosher salt
3 eggs plus 2 egg yolks (large size)
Briefly pulse 2 cups of flour with the salt in food processor to combine evenly. Add eggs. Run food processor until the dough becomes a ball. Add a tablespoon of water, one at a time, if the mixture is too dry. Eventually a ball will form. Continue to run the food processor briefly to mimic kneading the dough.
Once the ball is formed and sticky, remove it from the food processor and knead it briefly by hand. Put the ball in a small bowl, topped with a damp kitchen towel. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
Take one quarter of the dough and flatten it into a disk. Using a rolling-pin, roll the dough, flipping over as necessary, on a floured surface into a not-too-thin elongated rectangle, the size of the chitarra.
Trim the ends and place dough rectangle on the chitarra wires. Use the rolling-pin again to press the dough through the wires. This will elongate the dough again, so the ends will have to be trimmed off. Add excess dough back to the other quarters.
Roll the pin back and forth to get the dough to fall through the wires onto the platform below. Some of the dough may not fall through, so use fingers to help it along.
Remove the platform with the strands of dough from the chitarra. Separate the strands and toss with flour to keep them from sticking together.
When all the strands have been separated, cook pasta in boiling salted water al dente. Cooking times will vary depending on the size of the strands. Mine were gloriously quite thick, I cooked them for 5 minutes.
Drain the pasta and toss with your favorite hearty sauce, or mine.
Spaghetti alla Chitarra, Spiced Lamb Ragù
Read more about Spaghetti alla Chitarra and get the recipe for Spiced Lamb Ragù here.