Pasta making implements have been around for a long time. When it comes to spaghetti, among the oldest of tools for cutting many thin strands at once, is the Chitarra (pronounced key-tahr-rah). Evenly spaced wires cut spaghetti from a sheet of dough that is rolled on them. An important symbol of the Abruzzi region of Italy, the Chitarra originated around 1800 in the province of Chieti, and is still in common use today.
How to Use a Chitarra Pasta Maker
• Cut a rolled sheet of pasta dough to fit over the wires.
• Generously sprinkle flour on both sides of the sheet, so it won’t stick to the wires.
• Position the sheet of pasta over the wires of the chitarra.
• Use a rolling pin over the sheet with light-to-moderate pressure, to cut the strands.
• The center board in newer chitarre catches the cut pasta, and may also slide out to easily remove and transport the strands to your pot or to your pasta dryer.
• The pasta can go right into boiling water, or can be hung for drying and freezing for future use.
Chitarra Pasta Maker Maintenance
There should never be a need to wash the chitarra. Keep it away from water, to keep the steel bolts and wires from rusting, and to keep the wood from warping.
Brush & scrape
Wipe off flour with a pastry brush.
Use a plastic scraper to remove any sticking dough.
Lubricate from time to time, depending on the humidity in your environment: Wipe wires and steel nuts and bolts with an oil-dampened cloth. Food-grade mineral oil is preferred.
Store in the original box, in a dry place.
Re-Stringing a Chitarra
Restringing a chitarra costs $20.00 plus shipping and takes 4-5 weeks. Please call us for more information. (215) 922-5557
* We re-string only chitarras that have a metal/wood frame and that are 2-sided, like the one shown below.
*We do not re-string chitarras that have an entirely wooden frame, or that are one-sided, as they may buckle under the pressure required to evenly re-string.
Image of Antique Chitarra from img.class.posot.it