‘Chitarra’ means, yes you’ve guessed it, guitar! The reason for this is the piece of equipment used to make this pasta resembles guitar strings. The chitarra is a rectangular wooden frame with parallel wires running across it from top to bottom. The rolled out pasta dough is placed on the chitarra and pushed through the wires using a rolling pin. Pasta makers in Abruzzo release the pasta strands from the wires by ‘playing’ them as they would a stringed instrument!
The resulting pasta looks like square spaghetti and has a porous texture. There is a similar type of pasta made in Lazio called tonnarelli.