Pici is a hand rolled pasta from the Tuscany region. Like the orecchiette, it’s a labour of love…. but jeez, it’s worth it. Side track the kids and go and bond with your partner in the kitchen. Pour a glass of wine, roll some pasta together and share the love. If you are by yourself, crank up some music and let your mind wonder to every lovely thing thats ever happened, and enjoy that wonderful you time.
This is how we spent a Sunday, well a couple of hours of it. Chatting and rolling, chatting and rolling.
The Monkeys had other things to do such as reorganise the book shelf, dismantle the pram and build duplo towers as tall as themselves. It was so lovely just to talk and make pasta. The rhythm of the pasta rolling hooks you in, your hands doing the same methodical thing over and over until the benches are all covered in drying pasta. Your hands in a rhythm, lets your mind wonder. I love nothing better than a passionate discussion about something. Time to really dissect the topic and explore it. Rolling the pasta and standing in the kitchen let us do just that. Unlike the chocolate making from another weekend before, this one had happy smiles all over it.
….and you could taste that love and happiness in the pici.
450 grams fine ground semolina flour
225 mls water (approx)
In a bowl, slowly add the water to the flour, to form a stiff dough. It should be quite smooth and not really sticky to touch. To get to that smoothness, knead, knead, knead. It can be quite a stiff dough initially. Pull off a small palm sized piece, rolling it into a snake approximately 2cm thick. Then using a knife, cut small 3cm portions off. Rolling one portion in your hand and then finished off on the board. (so it’s now a long thin snake) Pressing down with a skewer stick, length ways, following the body of the snake. The skewer sitting in the middle, lift up and then gently rolling the pasta over, to form a hollow noodle. Lay the pasta on a sprinkling of semolina to avoid sticking, and let dry for awhile before cooking.
Serve it with a simple sauce. Let the pasta be the main part of the dish, and the sauce the accompaniment. A little olive oil, a little garlic, some cherry tomatoes, a good bit of some great parmesan….