Goat Stew from Abruzzo (Capra alla Neretese)

After reading Conor’s post in which he showed us how to prepare delicious roast leg of goat, I got curious and wanted to try goat meat, too. Now there are a lot of goats in the Netherlands, kept primarily for milking, … Continue reading Goat Stew from Abruzzo (Capra alla Neretese)

Spaghetti alla Chitarra con Ragù di Agnello e Peperoni (Fresh Pasta with Lamb and Bell Pepper Sauce)

Next time I’ll be visiting the Italian region of Abruzzo I’ll have to watch out, because I’m cheating in this post. Every region of Italy has its own pasta shapes, and for Abruzzo this is the Spaghetti alla Chitarra, also called Maccheroni alla Chitarra. In other regions this type of pasta is called tonnarelli or troccoli.

Spaghetti alla Chitarra are thick square fresh egg noodles, made from semolina flour and with a thickness and width of 2 to 3 mm (1/12 to 1/8 inch). They are called “alla chitarra” because they are traditionally made with a guitar-like device, which has a wooden frame strung with metal wires. The pasta dough is first rolled out with a rolling pin, then arranged on top of the metal wires, and then a rolling pin is used to press the pasta through the wires and thus cut it. You guessed it: chitarra is the Italian word for guitar. The device helps to give the pasta a rough surface, ideal for sauce to cling to.

I don’t own such a device, but since I do own a tagliolini attachment for my pasta roller with a width of 2-3 mm, I figured I can cheat and prepare something very close to spaghetti alla guitarra using the attachment for tagliolini. To get square pasta, the thickness of the dough should also be 2-3 mm. Spaghetti alla chitarra should be served very much al dente, with a lot of bite to them, so it is important not to overcook them.

One of the traditional ways to serve spaghetti alla chitarra in Abruzzo is with a ragù of lamb and bell peppers, flavored with garlic and bay leaf, and that is what I dressed the spaghetti alla chitarra with. It turned out wonderfully and I will definitely make this again. The ragù is made with fresh tomatoes and has a very elegant taste. Continue reading “Spaghetti alla Chitarra con Ragù di Agnello e Peperoni (Fresh Pasta with Lamb and Bell Pepper Sauce)”