Maccheroni alla Chitarra with Cured San Marzano Tomato Sauce
This recipe is featured in Making a Pasta Guitar
Adapted from Chef Rachel Goulet, Amali, New York City
The dough has to be slightly firmer than usual for fresh pasta, so it will cut neatly when pressed against the chitarra. To make the dough firmer you simply need to add a little more flour. Begin this recipe three days before serving.
- Prep 3 days
For the cured tomato sauce*:
- Two 794 gram (28 ounce) cans peeled whole San Marzano tomatoes, drained
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) salt
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) sugar
- 1.42 liters (6 cups) extra-virgin olive oil
- Zest of 1 orange, in strips
- Zest of 1 lemon, in strips
- 43 grams (½ cup, lightly packed), fresh basil leaves
- 28 grams (½ cup, lightly packed), fresh oregano sprigs
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- Pinch of dried chili flakes
For the pasta:
- 283 grams (10 ounces/2 cups) pasta flour, also called “00”flour (all-purpose flour may be used but cannot be stored overnight as it will oxidize)
- 1.2 ml (¼ teaspoon) salt
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 egg yolk
- 2.5 ml (½ teaspoon) olive oil
- Freshly grated parmesan or pecorino, for serving
- Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
*Begin preparations three days ahead of time. The sauce will need two nights of curing before finishing and serving.
1. For the cured tomato sauce: Three days before serving, squeeze juice out of each tomato. Arrange flat on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and sugar, evenly distributing all over tomatoes. Put in refrigerator overnight to cure.
2. Next day, take out tomatoes to bring to room temperature. Put cured tomatoes in a heat-resistant container with room at the top. Bring the olive oil (minus 15 ml/1 tablespoon) to a bare simmer and add orange, lemon, basil, and oregano. Remove from heat and allow to steep until cooled. Pour oil mixture over tomatoes and mix gently. Refrigerate overnight.
3. Next day, as the water is boiling for the pasta, strain out all oil, herbs and zest from tomatoes, and chop tomatoes until almost mashed. In a sauté pan, add garlic and chili with the remaining 15 ml (1 tablespoon) olive oil, and stir until softened but not browned. Add 118 ml (1/2 cup) of the tomatoes with a little water; fresh water is preferred, if using pasta water be careful of the salt content. Set aside and keep warm.
4. For the pasta: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Mound it and make a well in the middle. Add all the eggs and egg yolk in the well along with the olive oil. With your hands or a fork, start incorporating flour slowly inside of the well until you have no liquid left. Once in a relative ball, flour the surface of your counter and take ball out to start kneading. Knead pasta dough until it is smooth and when you poke it, it bounces back (it will take about 10 minutes of kneading). Wrap with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
5. Once rested, cut the dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll the dough to .3 cm (1/8-inch) thickness with a pasta machine or a rolling pin. The dough should be no longer or wider than the strings of your chitarra. To cut with a chitarra: Lay a strip of dough over the strings of the chitarra. (If you have a two-sided chitarra, use the wider spaced strings.) Roll your rolling pin lengthwise up and down the pasta. The strings should cut it cleanly into strands that fall into the tray of the chitarra.
6. Collect the strands and dust them with flour. Gather the strands into loose nests and place them on a floured tray. Leave the strands on the tray uncovered at room temperature until you are ready to cook them.
7. To cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil, adding enough salt so it is salty like the ocean. Shake the excess flour from the strands of pasta and drop them in the hot water. Stir and separate the strands. Cook the pasta for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
8. When sauce is warm, add cooked chitarra and toss together over low heat until sauce is “hugging” all the noodles. Serve immediately with freshly grated parmesan or pecorino. If desired, garnish with fresh basil leaves.