Have you never eaten PICI? Pici is a thick, hand rolled pasta, similar to fat spaghetti usually made from just flour and water, but I add one egg! It is a special Tuscan recipe, originates in the province of Siena in Tuscany. Unlike spaghetti, this pasta is not uniform in size and has variations of thickness along its length which adds to it’s “homemade” charm Do you want to learn how to make Pici? Come in Florence at my b&B. Look at Laila, she is the youngest “chef” I have had, she really enjoyed making Pici!!! Brava Laila!

PICI serves 4/5 persons

Ingredients

  • 150 g fine semolina flour
  • 350 g 0 or 00 pasta flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 glass of water

Assemble all the ingredients in a bowl. Add just enough water to create a loose, but not too wet dough, mixing with a fork. Start with about 2/3 of a glass of water, and add additional as needed. Turn the dough out and start kneading. Kneading is all about stretching to strengthen the gluten, which gives your pasta the resilience it needs to be chewy rather than mushy. Shape your kneaded dough into a disc shape and wrap with plastic wrap. Let your dough rest for a minimum of 30 minutes or up to two hours. This is an important step that allows the dough to relax and make it easier to roll out. Divide your dough in half, leaving one half covered in the plastic wrap while you work with the other half. Use your rolling pin and roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface until it is about 1/4 of an inch thick. Try and keep your dough in a rectangular shape as you roll to make cutting strips easier. Use a sharp knife and cut strips in your dough lengthwise. You can do this all at once, or cut each strip as you roll your pici by hand. Take one strip at a time, and roll into a tube. Next bring both hands to the center of the tube, and while gently rolling with your fingers, begin moving your hands apart towards the ends. As you complete your pici, place them on a lightly floured kitchen towel. When ready to cook, first bring a large pot of salted water to boil, then gently lift a few of the pici and allow them to sink into the water. Cooking times will depend on the type of flour you use and how long they are left to dry before cooking. Taste test after 4/5 minutes. The pici should be tender but not at all mushy. Drain your pici, and return to the pot. Add a couple of scoops of your sauce into the pot and gently shake the pot to coat the pici with sauce. Serve the pici in individual bowls with an additional scoop of sauce on top and offer grated cheese at the table