Fresh pasta dominates first course culinary traditions from the Abruzzi. It is served with strong flavoured sauces such as mutton sauce, sausage ragout and goose ragout.
Maccheroni alla chitarra is a very characteristic dish; it consists of a dough made of egg and durum wheat that is rolled out into sheets and cut with a chitarra (guitar) – a traditional implement made up of a beech wood frame strung with parallel steel wires at one end. The pasta dough sheets are pressed onto the wires with a rolling pin. Maccheroni alla molinara is also an original regional dish.
Worthy of note are the region’s tagliolini (thin tagliatelle that are excellent with meat broths), taccuzzelle (an excellent pasta for vegetable minestrone and pasta with beans) and cannelloni all'abruzzese consisting of rolled up slices of pasta dough stuffed with various meats (chicken, veal and pork).
These dishes are complemented by side dishes such as sagne e fagioli, a rustic bean and noodle soup flavoured with a sauce made from fresh tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and hot chilli peppers.
Scrippelle, rustic pancakes served m'busse (i.e. in a soup) or used to form sumptuous soufflés served with ragout and filled with chicken liver, meatballs, hard boiled egg and fresh pecorino cheese, are a speciality of Teramo.
Ravioli stuffed with ricotta is also delicious (served with sugar and cinnamon and a thick pork ragout) as is pastuccia, a polenta stew containing sausages, egg and grated pecorino cheese.