Ingredients Durum-wheat flour, salt, and water, and today also eggs, oil, or lard.
How Made The flour is sifted with a pinch of salt onto a wooden board and kneaded long and vigorously until a firm, smooth dough forms. The dough is left to rest, then divided into little loaves whose size depends on the housewife’s skill and strength. A hole is made in the center of each loaf and, with oiled hands, the loaf is pulled and stretched into a long loop—as long as the length of the maker’s arms permits. The loop is folded over twice to form a sort of skein of four threads, which is folded again and again, with the threads of pasta becoming thinner and thinner. They are dusted with flour from a sieve every so often to keep them from sticking. The skein is then opened and cut at two equally spaced points to make spaghetti, which are separated, dusted with flour, and left to dry. They are boiled in plenty of salted water.
Also Known As Manatelle, manare, and tratti. In Abruzzo, they are called maccheroni alla molenara.
How Served As pastasciutta, with traditional local sauces.
Where Found Abruzzo and Basilicata, where they are typical of Potenza, especially around Vaglio di Basilicata.
Remarks This very unusual pasta, whose method of preparation somewhat resembles that of the shtridhëlat of the Arbëreshë community of San Paolo Albanese, used to be made in the flour mills. It was tedious work, and only the strong arms of the millers managed to make skeins of very thin threads. In fact, it survives only in Vaglio di Basilicata, where it reportedly originated. The sauce, also used for other homemade pastas, is a meat ragù with ’ntruppicc, a finely diced mix of lamb and pork. At the table, diners add their own crumbled chili or a drop of santo (olive oil in which hot chili has macerated).
In Abruzzo, this pasta has been known since the Middle Ages, having been introduced, according to local tradition, in the twelfth century by the soldiers following Roger the Norman, in conquest of the region.