Pici are a unique Tuscan type of pasta. A kind of fat spaghetti which represents the symbol of regional “cucina povera”. The reason for their success is in the multiple choice of sauces they can be match with. Now, as many of you probably already know we are not from Tuscany and this was our first attempt to make
this type of pasta. To be honest, we are quite happy with the result!
Pici Senesi. A little bit of history first…to feed the brain as well!
Pici are a type of pasta that has been known since the Etruscan civilisation, which if you don’t know it was a long long long time ago! Way much before Masterchef!
They were known with different names around the areas of Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio. The actual name of Pici, typical of the Tuscan area, must be related to the term “appiciare” which represents the gesture you make with your hand in the process of giving to the pasta dough the pici shape. Somebody describes it as a fat spaghetti, we rather love to see it like a pasta with the round shape in the right place.
Enough history! Let’s make the pici.
1kg of Farina 00
1/2 Lt water
Mix the ingredients all together and work the dough for 10 min then let it rest half an hour. As we always recommend enjoy this resting time with something to nibble. Maybe a slice of salami, some capicollo, due sott’olio, due sott’aceti, a piece of bread, a glass of wine. Have fun!
On a plain surface spread some flour. Cut a piece of the dough and roll it till you get a sheet of 1cm thick. Cut it in stripes and start to roll them one by one till you get a kind of ‘fat’ spaghetti almost 20cm long.
Place them on a tea towel dusted with flour.
Pici Senesi, with Kale, Italian Sausages and Briciole.
For us following the season is like a mantra that we constantly apply in our everyday recipes. At this time of the year kale is one of our favourite seasonal ingredients. It’s so versatile, great not only for soup it is also a great condiment for pasta sauces.
And if you put next to it a great Italian pork and fennel sausage you have one of the greatest combination ever! Especially if you get them from Nino’s And Joe’s in Brunswick.
In a fry pan let one finely chopped onion and one garlic clove gently shallow fry until golden brown. With your hand brake down a couple of sausages and add to the pan and let them browning. Add a glass of red wine to glaze.
Chop roughly the kale and add it to the pan. Adjust with salt an pepper and let it cook on low heat with a lid on top for 10-15min. You don’t have to blanch the kale before. Cooking it directly in the pan will leave some crunchiness at the end.
In a big pot bring water to boil. Add salt and cook the pasta aldente.
How much pasta? Guys, you don’t weigh pasta, you go by heart!
Drain the pasta, add to the pan and toss to combine everything.
Optional: you can add on top some pan toasted bread crumbles.
Enjoy this dish with a nice red. We recommend a Cambrian Rock Shiraz from Heathcote: a rich, crimson, dry red with notes of liquorice, plum, star anise and a silky, delicious, long mouthfeel.