Chitarra

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Chitarra Bronze cut artisan pasta from Abruzzo

Chitarra is the specialty of Abruzzo and is named after the tool used to make it, la chitarra (the guitar).

It’s made with a wooden frame with thin metal wires stretched across, over which a sheet of pasta is pressed through with a rolling pin, and then strummed, causing the cut chitarra to fall through. This creates the chitarra’s square shape.

In the Abruzzo, it is typically served with a ragu of lamb or wild boar. This also lends itself to the most wonderful basic recipe there is; Sofia “Gli Strani” olive oil and Pecorino di Parco.

Pastificio Masciarelli (est. 1867) located in the small Abruzzo mountain village of Pratola Peligna (AQ), is regarded as one the oldest family pasta producers in Italy; having been operated by the same small family throughout their 145 year history.

What makes Pastificio Masciarelli Bronze Cut Pasta so incredible? Well, almost 95% of all dry pasta produced is made using silicon dyes, which create a very smooth surface.  Not Masciarelli.

They create their bronze cut artisan pasta one form at a time, using a single press and a small set of handmade circular bronze dyes.  The ingredients are simple: 100% durum wheat (high in protein) and pure spring water from the waters of the surrounding Majella National Park; and nothing else.

Each batch is handled independently from the others; mixed and adjusted by eye and feel and cut by hand. The resulting shapes are allowed to dry at a very low temperature (not exceeding 45* c) for as long as 3 days.

This method is more time consuming than those used by most of their large scale counterparts, but allows for the gradual removal of moisture from the pasta. A fact that can be seen on the pasta itself, in the form of a fine dust of flour that remains on the surface.

All of this extra effort and bronze dyes produce a rough texture, (which you can feel) and allows sauce to cling to this extraordinary product. So, if you’ve ever wondered why the sauce just slides off your regular industrial pasta, this is why; it has nothing to cling to.

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