Homemade Chitarra

Spaghetti alla Chitarra

Chitarra, literally “guitar,” is a wire-strung wooden frame used to make a rustic pasta called maccheroni alla chitara. The chitarra is used throughout the region of Abruzzo, in central Italy. Never get your chitarra wet. Dust flour and any bits of dried pasta off the chitarra with a stiff brush or dry towel. The dough of maccheroni alla chitarra is a mixture of fine semolina and pasta flours.


Makes 10 servings

  • 1 pound, 10 oz. semolina

  • 1½ pounds Caputo 00 flour

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 cup water

  • 35.2 oz. Tomato Sauce

  • 4 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano


  1. Mound the flours in the center of a clean work surface. Mix together both flours and make a well in the middle of the flour, add the eggs and water. Using a fork, beat together the eggs and begin to incorporate the flour starting with the inner rim of the well. As you incorporate the eggs, keep pushing the flour up to retain the well shape. The dough will come together into a shaggy mass when over half of the flour is incorporated.

  2. Start kneading the dough with both hands, primarily using the palms of your hands. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky. Once the dough comes together in a cohesive mass, remove the dough from the work surface, using a bench scraper to scrape up all the dough. Lightly flour the board and knead for 5 minutes. Continue to knead for another 3 minutes, remembering to dust your work surface with flour when necessary. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes at room temperature.

  3. Roll out the dough through a pasta machine into very thin sheets (If using an Atlas Pasta Machine, roll dough to number 5), then dry the pasta for a few minutes. To cut the pasta using the chitarra, lay a sheet of pasta over the strings using a rolling pin and applying gentle pressure roll the pin over the pasta. Take your fingers run them down the chitarra crosswise to loosen the pasta.

  4. Cook the pasta in a large pasta pot with salted broiling water. Drain and sauté in a saucepan with  tomato sauce. Serve topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

By by Academia Barilla, adapted by the Sur La Table kitchen

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