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Pasta alla chitarra con ricci di mare (“Guitar” pasta with sea urchin)

This classic Abruzzese dish uses an instrument resembling a guitar to make the pasta. Spaghetti or linguine, however, make excellent substitutes. Be careful not to overcook the sea urchin roe.

You'll need

1 quantity whole-egg pasta dough For dusting: flour 100 ml mild-flavoured extra-virgin olive oil 30 gm butter 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped Finely grated rind and juice of ½ lemon Large pinch of dried chilli flakes Tail meat from 8 Balmain bugs (230gm) 200 gm sea urchin roe To serve: fennel fronds and lemon wedges


  • 01
  • Cut pasta sheets into rectangles to fit the stringed part of a chitarra (see note). Lay each piece over strings and press down with a rolling pin to shred into strips. Toss strips with flour, spread in a single layer on a floured tray.
  • 02
  • Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (2-3 minutes). Drain, reserving 2 tbsp cooking water.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, heat oil and butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add garlic, lemon rind and chilli and cook until tender (1-2 minutes). Add bug tails, turning occasionally, until cooked through (4-6 minutes). Reduce heat to low, add sea urchin roe and stir until roe begins to break down (5-10 seconds). Remove from heat, add pasta and reserved cooking water, toss to combine, add lemon juice, season to taste and serve immediately, scattered with fennel fronds and lemon wedges to the side.

Note You can order a chitarra from Complete Kitchenware. Alternatively, use the spaghetti cutter of a pasta machine.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

May 2010

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