Chef Aldo Zilli makes pasta alla chitarra

During the past 8 years as a blogger I have been fortunate enough to meet several well known British chefs and get cookery lessons from them as well. Most of them were Italians or somehow they had a link with Italy.

Because of the power of the media, you see these people on television and you imagine them to be something incredible, almost super humans but when you actually meet them in person you realize that they are just as human as you are.

In my experience, what these famous people have in common, apart from obviously being very talented individuals and having a certain charisma, is that they are extremely passionate about what they do.  It is clear that you certainly need passion to be successful at anything in life.

Recently, I was invited by the no-profit Italian organisation “I love Italian Food” in London to meet Aldo Zilli at the Scavolini Store. Scavolini is a famous Italian kitchen brand which have stores all over the world.

Aldo Zilli comes originally from Abruzzo and moved to England at the age of 20. He founded several innovative restaurants in London. Aldo has also written several books including two autobiographies.

When I got there the pasta sauce was bubbling up. The chef was chopping fresh herbs and I watched with fascination at the ease and rapidity with which he was handling the knife; he could have done it with his eyes closed!

Chopping herbs

Aldo was going to show us how to make a typical dish from his region: spaghetti alla chitarra, which I also made with my friend from Abruzzo some time ago.

Aldo Zilli makes pasta

Pasta alla chitarra

Pasta alla chitarra

Spaghetti alla chitarra

Spaghetti alla chitarra with meat sauce

I had the opportunity to have a good chat with him. This is a chef with a cheerful, content and very chatty personality; I asked Aldo about his life and his family and how he likes living in the UK. I found him inspiring and his down to earth personality and kindness was even more inspiring.

Aldo Zilli

The smell was extremely inviting: the sauce was made with fresh tomatoes, fresh herbs, a mixture of pork and beef mince and pecorino cheese.

Soon we could watch pasta being made with the guitar: a simple and interesting instrument to make pasta at home, quickly and efficiently. Pasta alla chitarra has an interesting rougher texture that makes it particularly tasty.

Aldo recommends to always use quality ingredients; particularly eggs. If you are making the effort to make pasta at home you may just as well use quality ingredients. And of course he is absolutely right in this.

I love what Aldo said when he proudly showed off his freshly made pasta: “Here it is pasta made with love and Italy”.

What a great fun evening I hope to meet Aldo again one day!

Aldo Zilli

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22 Responses to Chef Aldo Zilli makes pasta alla chitarra

  1. Frank

    Looks like a great time! And I learned two interesting facts: 1. That you’ve been blogging for 8 years. Congrats! Very few bloggers make it to that milestone. And 2. That you have a Scavolini store in London. Lucky you!

    • Alida

      Yes still blogging although now I only do it for pleasure as a hobby which is nice.

  2. 2pots2cook

    What an experience it must have been ! So beautiful to see great chef in person 🙂 Beato te !

    • Alida

      There so much to learn from these chefs, they were born to cook!

  3. angiesrecipes

    What a fun and educational experience! Chef Aldo seems really easy going and knowledgeable.

    • Alida

      Yes very friendly and approachable

  4. Ron

    Alida, what a pleasure to meet Aldo and what fun to watch pasta being made the traditional way. I love the guitar pasta cutter, something I’ll have in my kitchen one day. Did you get to taste?

    • Alida

      Yes of course.. the best part of it 🙂

  5. speedy70

    E’ un arte fare questa pasta, ottima!!!!

    • Alida


  6. Gloria Roa Baker

    This chef is wonderful!!! Hope you still blogging, love yours recipes. I make only by hobby too always! I will have 11 years of blogging!! hugs and love!
    We make some of your delicious salads!

    • Alida

      Wow 11 years! A milestone. Congratulations!

  7. Chiara

    ho la chitarra e che mi manca il tempo per usarla. Non sai quante volte avrei voluto !

    • Alida

      Io invece non ce l’ho ma mi piacerebbe comprarla. Solo che ci vuole tempo a fare la pasta in casa.

  8. Ron

    Alida, sorry for the late comment, I thought I’d already commented on this. What fun being able to watch Chef Aldo make and cook fresh pasta. I want one of the pasta cutting guitars. Thanks for sharing.

    • Alida

      Hi Ron, I think it will be easy to find it online.

  9. elisabetta

    How lovely to hear from you again Alida. So glad that you had the great opportunity to meet Aldo Zilli. I love watching him on tv – excellent chef and he seems like a truly nice guy.

    • Alida

      Yes he is. It was fun watching his demonstrations. There is always so much to learn from professional chefs and I like to hear about their life too.

  10. All That I'm Eating

    It sounds like you had a great time and that pasta dish sounds so delicious, especially with Pecorino.

    • Alida

      Oh yes, Pecorino is just so good on pasta. I love it as such as Parmigiano.

  11. Karen (Back Road Journal)

    Hi Alida, for some reason my comments haven’t been going through but I just wanted to let you know I enjoyed your post. It brought back memories of one of our trips to Italy where I bought a chitarra to bring back home.

    • Alida

      Thank you Karen. Pasta alla chitarra has such a great texture.

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