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Guitar Spaghetti

Pasta alla Chittara
Serves 8 to 10 as a first course or 4 to 6 as an entrée
- 9:29



1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 pound ground lamb

3 whole bay leaves

3 cloves garlic, minced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 (28 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand (We like San Marzano tomatoes!)

2 large red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and sliced 1/4-inch thick*

1 large yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and sliced 1/4-inch thick*

1 pound spaghetti alla chitarra* (recipe follows)

Grated Pecorino Romano, for garnish

Spaghetti alla chitarra

3 cups durum semolina flour

4 large eggs, beaten with a fork

Pinch salt


Heat oil in a 6-quart saucepan over medium-high. Cook lamb, stirring and breaking up meat into small pieces, until browned, 6–8 minutes. Stir in sliced peppers, bay leaves, garlic, salt, and pepper; cook until garlic softens 2–3 minutes. Stir in wine; cook until reduced by half, 2–3 minutes. Add stock and tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, 35–40 minutes. Discard bay leaves.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, 10–12 minutes. Drain pasta and transfer to pan with sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste and, using tongs, toss pasta in sauce.

For the pasta 
On a board combine the flour and salt. Make a hole in the center of the pasta and add the eggs. Mix until a dough is formed. Cover and let rest 30 minutes.

Cut dough into quarters and flatten with rolling pin. Thin each piece in a pasta machine. Place each piece on top of the chitarra and roll over it with a rolling pin to create the “square shape” pasta.

Want a nifty Pepper Scoop to help make seeding fresh peppers a snap? See:

This recipe is featured on show 2721 – Joy and Music on a Plate.


  1. Cynthia T Broyles's avatar

    Cynthia T Broyles

    I've watched Ms Esposito before, but the pasta recipe on this episode was excellent and looked so dooable. With the lamb ragu it looks wonderful. Glad to find recipe written out here, plan on making it today. Thanks so much. Ciao
  2. Gloria Sugerman's avatar

    Gloria Sugerman



    Dear MaryAnn,

    I have been watching your show for years and I want to thank you for all the wonderful things you have taught me. I am very grateful for all the hard work you and your staff have done to help me and thousands of others learn to cook real Italian foods. We are truly indebted to you.

    With gratitude,
    Gloria Sugerman


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