Spaghetti alla chitarra

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Spaghetti alla chitarra
Spaghetti alla chitarra.jpg
Traditional preparation using chitarra
Alternative names Maccheroni alla chitarra
Type Pasta
Place of origin Italy
Region or state Abruzzo
Main ingredients Durum, egg, salt
Variations Tonnarelli

Spaghetti alla chitarra (Italian: [spaˈɡetti ˈalla kiˈtarra]), also known as maccheroni alla chitarra, is a variety of egg pasta typical of Abruzzo, Italy. Tonnarelli are a similar pasta from Lazio.[1] They have a square cross section about 2–3 mm thick.

Ciriole is the thicker version of chitarra, approximately double the thickness of spaghetti. It has a squared shape rather than round.

The name of this spaghetti comes from the tool (the so-called chitarra, literally "guitar") this pasta is produced with, a tool which gives spaghetti its name, shape and a porous texture that allows pasta sauce to adhere well. The chitarra is a frame with a series of parallel wires crossing it.

Spaghetti alla Chitarra with 'Nduja & tomato sauce

The dough consists of durum wheat semolina, eggs, and salt. It is then worked and, after a rest, rolled flat with a rolling pin. The dough is then placed on the chitarra and pushed through with the rolling pin, so that the strings of the guitar cut it into strips.[2] Pasta makers from Abruzzo bring down the cut dough by passing a finger on it, as they would "play an arpeggio".

The tool named chitarra was invented around 1890 in the province of Chieti. Before then, pasta was cut with a special rolling pin with notches to obtain its particular shape.[3]

In Abruzzo, maccheroni alla chitarra are most typically prepared with a ragout of lamb (ragù d'agnello). In particular areas of the Abruzzi the traditional condiment is tomato sauce with veal meatballs, so-called pallottelle.[4]

A dried variation without egg is often marketed as spaghetti or maccheroni alla chitarra within and outside of Italy.[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Tonnarelli is a local variation from Lazio". Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  2. ^ "Barilla". Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  3. ^ "Spaghetti chitarra". Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  4. ^ "De Cecco: accheroni alla chitarra all'uovo".
  5. ^ "Spaghetti alla chitarra marketed outside of Italy".
  6. ^ "Maccheroni alla chitarra (without egg) available in Italian supermarkets".