In my pantheon of illustrious homemade pastas there is a special niche for the tonnarelli noodle. If you cut across it you will find that it is square, as broad as it is high. It has the buoyancy and sauce-absorption capacity of other homemade pastas, because that is what it is made of, but tonnarelli’s chunkier profile also endows it with a firm bite comparable to that of factory-made, dried, boxed pasta. Tonnarelli is a specialty of Latium, the region where Rome is located, and its neighbor to the east, Abruzzi. In Abruzzi it is known as maccheroni alla chitarra because the dough for it is cut on the steel strings of a guitar-like tool. With a hand-cranked pasta machine, the making of tonnarelli, as described below, becomes extraordinarily simple.
The tonnarelli noodles for this recipe are green because they are made of spinach dough, an attractive background for the yellow peppers and tomato dice of the sauce. Please note that the tomatoes are just scalded, not cooked. They must retain their dice-like shape and the liveliness of their fresh ripe taste and the firmness of a nearly raw consistency.
A shallow, warm serving platter
© 1997 Marcella Hazan estate. All rights reserved.