Watch as Chef Flanagan of The Dundee Bistro prepares Manilla Clam Cioppino with Mussels & Ling Cod with bay shrimp, tomatoes, saffron, leeks, fennel, grilled baguette & aioli! Yum!
By Rebecca Ponzi
La Chitarra (pronounced key-tahr-rah), literally means guitar in Italian, but it is also an old world pasta maker that dates back over 200 years. If you ever get the chance to see one, the name is self-explanatory. It’s a box that has steel strands of wire, which run horizontal like those on a guitar fret board.
The Ponzi family, owners of The Dundee Bistro, is fond of many types of pasta. This particular pasta is my personal favorite and I order it whenever we are in Le Marche, next to the Abruzzo region. This central Italian region is not only where La Chitarra was invented, but is also the birthplace of the Ponzi family origins. I can imagine my husband’s grandfather, Attilio, enjoying a bowlful of Chitarra pasta made with this newly invented contraption. Historians claim that La Chitarra was invented around 1800 and anything less than a century old in Italy, apparently is “new”.
Why is this of interest at The Dundee Bistro? Executive Chef Christopher Flanagan has become fascinated, if not somewhat obsessed, with making fresh pasta for our diners. On a recent trip to Italy I carted home a La Chitarra pasta maker I bought at a local market. Chef Flanagan has experimented with the typical flour and water recipe for fresh cut tagliatelle and pappardelle, and has now mastered the egg and extra virgin olive oil enriched Chitarra recipe. This gives the pasta a dense and chewy texture, both very appealing qualities for traditional Italian pasta.
Chitarra pasta marries well with simple sauces such as fresh seafood, seen in the photo. A light tomato sauce also nicely compliments this flavorful pasta. Come visit The Dundee Bistro and enjoy the flavors of house-made pasta and sauces where old world technique creates new world cuisine.