Friday, September 25, 2015

Homemade Pici Pasta

Without a doubt (at least for me), the best holiday David and I have taken was when we went to Florence, Italy. I spent most of the time walking around with my mouth hanging open being awed by the architecture, art, sculptures, and yes, the food. Dear readers, please believe me that I did manage to not chew my food with my mouth open.

Whenever I'm feeling nostalgic about that particular trip or Italy in general, I reach for the books written by Frances Mayes. You may be familiar with her for writing Under the Tuscon Sun. One of her novels that I recently read is Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life. In one chapter, she relates a dinner that was made that included pici pasta. Now I've read this book before, but this particular passage never jumped out at me. Maybe that I've been making my own pasta, it now caught my eye. Whatever the reason, I did some research and found this recipe (courtesy of Italian Food Forever).

I went ahead and made the dough and let it rest for almost two hours. It's interesting that this is the first pasta dough recipe I've run across that doesn't include eggs. 

I divided the dough in half, covering the portion I wasn't using back in the plastic wrap.

The dough got rolled out to about a 1/4 inch thickness.

Using a pizza cutter, the dough was cut into strips.

Then, using my fingertips, each strip was rolled out to form a tube. The technique is similar to making bread sticks.

I let the pici dry for about 25 - 30 minutes, then cooked them in a pot of boiling, salted water. During the time the pici were drying, I heated up some home made pasta sauce.

The end result:

The pici were tender, not at all mushy. The sauce was great. But...I can't say I love this pasta. It just seems somewhat overwhelming with its thickness. Maybe pairing it with a Bolognese sauce would help? I'm willing to play around with it again and maybe try to make the pici a bit thinner. But make no mistake, pici or no pici, this girl is always happy to make a culinary trip to Italy.

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