Chitarra might look just like spaghetti on first glance, but there are a few key differences - and here's why it's so beloved.
When it comes to Italian pasta, spaghetti is undoubtedly a crowd favorite around the world. The most quintessential and widely beloved pasta shape, it's known for twirling around forks, getting piled high with meatballs, and getting slurped up with gusto. However, nestled in the region of Abruzzo, there exists a pasta shape that shares a similar adoration among locals and food enthusiasts alike: Chitarra. If you're a pasta aficionado, it's time to expand your repertoire and discover why this shape is so great - and, dare we say it, superior to regular spaghetti.
Chitarra, which means "guitar" in Italian, owes its name to the traditional tool used to create it. Made from a wooden frame with strings stretched across, the chitarra resembles the strings of a guitar, giving the pasta its characteristic square edges as opposed to spaghetti's long cylindrical shape. This remarkable instrument allows pasta artisans to hand-cut sheets of dough, resulting in delicate, perfectly formed strands.
Hailing from the rugged and picturesque region of Abruzzo, Chitarra reflects the essence of its homeland. This pasta has been crafted for generations, with techniques passed down through families, preserving its authentic flavor and texture. The marriage of simple ingredients - durum wheat semolina and water - alongside the skillful hands of pasta makers gives birth to a pasta that embodies the soul of Abruzzo.
From a culinary perspective, what sets Chitarra apart from other pasta shapes is its ability to capture and hold onto sauces. The square-shaped strands, with their slightly rough surface, create a perfect texture that allows sauces to cling to each strand - no puddles of sauce will ever be left on a plate with Chitarra in the mix. This unique characteristic makes Chitarra an ideal choice for rich, robust sauces like ragùs, bolognese and beyond.