Before we get to the recipe let me introduce you to my Italian Chitarra (pronounced: key-tahr-rah). This is a pasta maker, and although it looks a little bit like a double sided harp, it is indeed for making pasta. It was created in Italy sometime in the 1800’s. The Chitarra has 30 strings (thicker pasta) on one side and 50 on the other (finer pasta). In the center of the device has a slanted board to allow the cut pasta to slide off easily once it’s been cut by the strings. To use, you simply use a rolling pin, flattening and pressing the dough through the wires. It’s a really affordable way to quickly cut pasta.
I don’t have a pasta machine and roll mine by hand. There is an art to rolling out the dough that I am learning, but even my crude efforts give nice results. That said, I hated cutting the pasta by hand, so I did some research and decided against a pasta machine, and instead bought the chitarra, an inexpensive, pretty cool, old fashioned way of making pasta.
The essentials are 1. Roll it out evenly 2. get it thin 3. use plenty of flour. Always keep in mind that the dough will expand when you cook it. No resting or waiting needed for this recipe.
The Chitarra works like a charm. I am in love!
My dough recipe:
2 cups organic unbleached all purpose flour
1 tbsp olive oil
extra flour for rolling/kneading
crack the eggs in a bowl, add the oil, sift in the flour and gently fold in until mixed. Turn out onto floured counter and knead until smooth and no longer sticky (A minute or two). Roll out the dough using plenty of flour. cut into desired shapes, put into gently boiling (salted) water for two minutes. Remove from pot with tongues. Toss cooked pasta in sauce or olive oil and serve.
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