Traditional peasant dish, it has spread from the Val di Chiana to all of Tuscany, and represents genuine cuisine with strong flavors
The pici they are a type of pasta made of flour and water with an elongated shape, as if they were spaghetti, about thirty centimeters long and as wide as a bucatino, typical of the Siena area but widespread throughout Tuscany. Two traditional recipes, one only with flour, water and salt, the other with the addition of an egg, for a greater consistency and a golden color. They are prepared by forming a dough with flour and then worked with open and stretched hands, only with the part close to the fingers, with a movement that is called "appiciare", hence the name of the pasta.
Usually they are seasoned with a sauce prepared with bacon, some tomatoes, Tuscan pecorino and bread crumbs. They are also excellent with dwarf, ie duck, or with a garlic sauce, made with a type of garlic that has become a Slow Food presidium, with a larger shape than the more common garlic and with a less strong and gentler flavor. We offer you this last recipe.
Sauce with garlic
6 coppery tomatoes, 6 slices of garlic, chilli, extra virgin olive oil.
Blanch the tomatoes in plenty of salted water for two or three minutes. Drain and let them cool before peeling them. In a pan, slowly fry the extra virgin olive oil with the peeled and crushed (or finely chopped) garlic slices and the seeds of a chilli pepper. Let the garlic brown slowly, until it almost melts in the oil. Meanwhile, peel the tomatoes, cut them in half, remove the seeds and cut them into cubes. Add them to the garlic and cook for about twenty minutes, until they are reduced to a puree.
Pici recipe (with egg)
150 g of durum wheat flour, 350 g of 00 flour, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 1 egg, 200 ml of warm water, a pinch of salt.
Form the two flours into a kind of fountain, in the center of which you will break the egg. Add the salt and pour in a little water. Start working the dough with a fork, mixing until all the flour is incorporated. Add the water a little at a time to soften the dough. At this point, continue to knead with your hands. When you have a homogeneous and firm mixture, let it rest for about 30 minutes. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it is one centimeter thick. Cut some strips of pasta with a knife and start to roll them out, working them with the palms of your hands, until they form a long vermicello. As you have prepared them, spread them out on a tray and cover them with a little corn flour so that they do not stick together. Take care to cover the piece of pasta with a cloth, after you have cut a strip, to prevent it from drying out. Throw the pici for two or three minutes in a pot with boiling salted water and then drain them. Pour them into the pan in which you have prepared the garlic sauce, cook on the stove for a few minutes and then serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. (If you prefer also add a handful of pecorino, Tuscan of course).
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