Chitarra Pasta Cutter
"Chitarra" (pronounced key-tahr-rah) is the Italian translation for "guitar".
Invented in the 1900's in Chieti, the Abruzzo region in central Italy.
This beautifully crafted traditional Italian tool derives its name from the traditional Italian guitar-like musical instrument, as it features a series of tightly strung wires on a beechwood frame.
The Chitarra pasta cutter is a specific tool, typical of Central Italy, used to prepare the traditional “spaghetti alla Chitarra”.
In spite of its name this particular kind of pasta is square and not round as normal spaghetti. Thanks to their square shape and also its consistency it can absorb and hold the sauce very well.
According to some historians, there are chronicles of the Middle Age telling about a technique of obtaining fresh noodle strips, by pressing paste with a rolling pin on a frame with metallic wires and letting it fall on a case or a sieve.
Some gastronomy students claim that in 1700, in the Italian region of Abruzzi, people used to prepare fresh noodles coarsely cut by means of a wooden instrument similar to a printing machine.
Later, around 1800, people discovered “lu carrature”, a kind of wooden frame, easier to used, with many stainless steel wires. The famous “Chitarra” was only invented at the end of 19th century.
And still today the tradition of this particular way of preparing noodle is alive in the Italian regions of Lazio, Abruzzo, Molise, Puglia and Campania.
The “Spaghetti alla Chitarra” are square section egg spaghetti, obtained by laying the dough on the Chitarra wires and pressing it by means of a rolling pin.
By laying the dough on one side of the “Chitarra” you can make 3mm section spaghetti and on the other 5mm section fettuccine.
On one end of the Chitarra are two tension screws: they tie the wires up to the frame and are used to regulate the wires tension so that they are always well fastened.
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