Total Time: 30 minutes

Spaghetti alla chitarra are a pasta shape typical of Abruzzo. The shaping of the pasta is done using a rectangular frame of beech wood. Along its longest sides, thin steel wires are stretched, reminders of the strings of a guitar, but with many more strings.

On these wires are laid sheets of dough to fit the frame, then pressed with a rolling pin, they are cut into strips of square sections. These square spaghetti are better indicated for rich sauces with meats than the normal round ones.

They can be used with any condiments or sauces. In Abruzzo generally are paired with an elaborate lamb sauce, but more often with a simple rustic tomato sauce like the one here.


Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 1 pound spaghetti alla chitarra
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
  • 6 ripe no skin no seeds tomatoes chopped
  • 2  tablespoons pitted olives sliced
  • 10 basil leaves shredded
  • 1/2 cup pecorino
  • salt



Warm up oil and cook onion on low heat about 10 minutes. Add garlic and pepper flakes last minute of cooking as garlic cooks faster.

Then raise heat a bit and add tomatoes, olives, salt and water to keep sauce from drying up and cook about 10 minutes more. Stir shredded basil in when sauce is done.

Add hot cooked drained pasta and blend with sauce adding pecorino. Turn heat off and serve.


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