Welcome to my world - a blend of passion, taste, and old-world traditions.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

PASTA ALLA CHITARRA

       I read that the ancient knowledge of making pasta by hand is almost lost. It’s alive and well in my kitchen. The skill was passed along to me by my mother. I also inherited a chitarra to make PASTA ALLA CHITARRA.


Pasta Dough

  1 1/2 cups of unbleached flour
  1 tsp salt
  1 tsp olive oil
  2 eggs

Prepare the dough by placing the flour on a cutting board and make a well.
    Add 1 tsp olive oil and  whole eggs into the well. Keep stirring this way until you have formed a sticky dough ball. Dump the dough ball onto a floured surface and knead, incorporating more flour into the dough as needed, until the dough is smooth, elastic, even in color and no longer sticky.
To knead the dough, push down on the ball with the heel of your hand, then give the dough a quarter turn, fold it over onto itself and push away from you again with the heel of your hand. Keep turning and pushing until you achieve the desired consistency.  Once you have finished kneading, cover with a dish and let rest at room temperature for 60 minutes or more.  Once the dough has rested, divide into balls. At this point, you may flatten each ball using a rolling pin



or a pasta machine.  Whichever method is used, the dough should turn into long, silken sheets.  Place the dough sheets on a floured board.  Place each sheet over the chitarra and with a rolling pin press against the chitarra's strings.
(See video) http://youtu.be/SKbvWt4HhzA

SAUCE (SUGO)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
7 oz. Pancetta cut into short julienne strips
2 lb. ripe tomatoes finally chopped
¼ cup small fresh basil leaves
Freshly ground pepper
3 oz. Grated pecorino cheese

Heat the oil in saucepan over moderate heat, add the onion and pancetta and brown for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt and simmer over low heat for 1 hour. Just before removing sauce from heat, add the chopped basil leaves and a good pinch of black pepper. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente, drain. Serve topped with the sauce and sprinkled with pecorino cheese.  Serves 6.



In Abruzzo, the pasta alla chitarra is generally prepared with meat sauces: beef, lamb and pork. Less traditional are sauces of wild boar and game.


Pasta alla chitarra con sugo di pomodori freschi
 I prefer a simple tomato sauce (sugo semplice).