Pasta alla chitarra

The Abruzzese dish ‘par excellence’ is spaghetti alla chitarra. Its name derives from the tool traditionally used to prepare spaghetti, the chitarra or maccarunare in Abruzzo dialect, from which spaghetti derives its unmistakable shape and texture. This instrument consists of a rectangular wooden frame on which are attached steel wires resembling the strings of a guitar. Pressing the egg dough against this frame and going over it with a rolling pin creates a kind of large spaghetti with a square cross-section.

“My mum was famous for her spaghetti alla Chitarra,” says Claudio Minicucci of the delicatessen Alla Chitarra Antica in Pescara. “And I am continuing this tradition.” Very proudly, he displays the authentic frame that once started the business. “In a lot of families in Abruzzo you can still find a chitarra frame like this,” states Claudio.

In the region, spaghetti alla chitarra is traditionally served with hearty ragouts based on lamb, beef or pork, or with meatballs: the porosity of the pasta lends itself to absorbing full, hearty sauces. Less traditional recipes also use sauces based on game, hare or wild boar.

Address: Alla Chitarra Antica, Via Sulmona 2 Pescara