Hand Formed Pasta

'Chitarra' (pronounced key-TAHR-rah): is Italian for guitar, although it has an almost harp-like appearance. It's been described as an 'old-school' pasta cutting device, a precursor of the manual pasta maker.

Roll out a sheet of dough, lightly sprinkle both sides of the pasta sheet with flour, and place it on the chitarra. Using a rolling pin, roll over the pasta to cut the strands. The center board catches the cut pasta. At this point the pasta can go right into boiling water or it can be dried and frozen for future use. The end result is a very light pasta that cooks quickly and absorbs more sauce than store-bought and extruded kinds.

Wide sheets of pasta deserve the use of longer rolling pins. Don't expect to get very thin sheets unless you are experienced at rolling the dough onto the pin in multiple layers. Some bowing usually occurs on the longest (32 in. or longer) ones, however that won't matter if you're familiar with their use. Otherwise, stick to the heavier and smaller rolling pins.