Fresh pasta chitarra is easily in my top 3 favorite pasta shapes. It’s thickness provides some chewiness, the addition of semolina flour helps the pasta grab sauce and it’s just really fun to make. You’ll need a pasta cutter called a chitarra (Italian for “guitar”) to make the “official” shape, but I bet you could get away with using a knife if you don’t feel like making the investment.
Once you’ve finished making you pasta chitarra, watch my video where I prepare it with fresh peas, pancetta a bit of tomato and ricotta salata.
|Kosher Salt||1/4 tsp|
|Whole Eggs||3 each|
|Egg Yolks||3 each|
|Water, tepid||1 tbsp|
Combine the flours with a little bit of salt and dump the mixture out onto a flat work surface. Mound the flour and make a well in the center. Add the whole eggs, the yolks, extra virgin olive oil and a tablespoon of water. Use a fork to mix the ingredients together. It’s usually the easiest way to get things started. Keep incorporating until you have a paste-like consistency. After that, use your hands or bench scraper to mix everything together.
When the mixture becomes more of a solid mass of dough it’s time to start kneading it. The process takes about 10 minutes and requires some diligence. Work the dough until you have a nice cohesive ball.
Now, let the dough rest for 20 to 30 minutes so the gluten can relax and the dough becomes much easier to roll out.
Cut the pasta dough into 3 or 4 pieces and flatten each piece with your fingers. Use a rolling pin to even out the surface. Next, fire up your mixer with the proper pasta roller attachment. The goal is to roll the dough thicker than you would for other types of pasta. I set my pasta roller to setting number five for chitarra and 6 for tagliatelle.
If you don’t have a countertop mixer just continue to roll the pasta sheet out with your rolling pin. This requires some additional muscle. However, the it’s worth the reward.
Now it’s time to set up the chitarra. “Chitarra” is Italian for “guitar” and it’s exactly what the device looks like. It’s a ton of fun to use and I highly recommend picking one up.
The first step is to flour your chitarra so that the pasta does not stick to anything when you’re rolling out your ribbons. Place a pasta sheet up on the strings. Add a bit more flour and begin rolling the fresh chitarra pasta out. As you apply pressure, the strings will to cut through your dough to form semi-thick ribbons of chitarra pasta.
Place each set of fresh chitarra pasta onto a floured sheet pan. You can freeze the pasta and hold it for a few months or cover the sheet pan with plastic and store it under refrigeration for a day or two.