"Guitar String" Pasta with White & Green Asparagus | CUESA

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"Guitar String" Pasta with White & Green Asparagus


Tony Mantuano, Spiaggia Restaurant

Popular throughout Italy, pasta alla chitarra comes from the central regions of Abruzzo and Molise. It has a square-shaped slice, whereas standard spaghetti is round. The chitarra, a simple and ingenious pasta device, is essentially a rectangular beech wood frame which fine metal strings are stretched at millimeter intervals. A special key is provided to tighten the strings, if they become loose over time. It also includes a collecting tray to catch the cut pasta.

Serves 4

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium spring onion, sliced
1 cup green asparagus, peeled and cut into ¼ inch slices
1 cup white asparagus, peeled and cut into ¼ inch slices
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup grated Capricious goat cheese (pecorino may be substituted)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups type 00 semolina flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 egg yolks, lightly beaten
⅓ cup water

Mound the flour on a pastry board or other wood or plastic work surface. Make a well in the center and add the salt and eggs yolks. Using a fork, gradually fold the flour into the eggs, adding the water little by little until you have soft dough. Knead a few times until smooth, then form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook each type of asparagus separately just until tender. Place asparagus in a cold ice water bath to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.
Cut the pasta dough into 6 pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time, (cover the remaining dough with a moist towel until ready to use), dust with flour and place between the rollers of a manual or motorized pasta machine at the widest setting. Pass the dough through. Fold the dough in half, sprinkle with flour, and roll again. Dust again with flour if the dough becomes sticky. Continue this process, reducing the space between the rollers one setting at a time until the dough is a thin, smooth sheet. Generally, you can roll the dough 6 times on the first setting before tightening the rollers; then reduce the times you roll by 1 with each new setting, until you reach the last setting, when rolling once will be enough. The pasta sheets are generally 6 inches wide and 12 inches long. Let the pasta sheets dry on a lightly floured board or parchment paper for 5 minutes before cutting.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »