Fabrizio’s hand-rolled pasta strands

Fabrizio’s hand-rolled pasta strands

Pici alla Fabrizio

By
From
Tuscany
Serves
8
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

Fabrizio, his wife Antonella and daughter Ilaria invited us to their house to help them make ragù and pici. We spent an incredible morning together making stock, drinking coffee, eating wet walnuts and chatting while the pigeons cooked in the pot. The family squabbled happily about who rolled the best pici, and after a hectic few days I felt myself finally slow down to the Tuscan pace of life. We had spent almost the whole day on one dish, but what a joy it was. Not just lunch, but an invitation to partake in the skills of the Tuscan kitchen; a wonderful way to spend the day.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1kg ‘00’ flour
3g salt
1 tablespoon oil
500ml cold water

Method

  1. Put the flour in a large bowl and add the salt and oil. Add a little cold water, a splash at a time (you may not need all of it), and mix it into the flour with a wooden spoon. When the dough starts to come together and the spoon is rendered useless, put the dough onto a large wooden board and knead it with your hands. Put the crumbs into a bowl and add a splash more water. Bring that amount into a dough with your hands and then mix the two together. Add a little more flour as necessary and knead for a good 10 minutes until the ball is smooth. Wrap in cling film (plastic wrap) and leave to rest for 30 minutes. (In summer I put it in the fridge but you can leave it out in winter.)
  2. Keep the bulk of the dough wrapped in cling film so that it doesn’t dry out. Cut a palm-sized piece off and put it onto the table, then roll it out with a rolling pin to a thickness of 3 mm. They should be like thick lengths of spaghetti. Use a pizza cutter to cut the piece into 5 mm- wide strips. Use your hands to roll the strips into long strands, stretching them as you roll by spreading your fingers out. Leave them separated from one another on a floured board. They can rest here for a few hours or overnight before cooking. To cook, bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook for 8–10 minutes.

Variation: Pici with anchovy breadcrumbs

  • Fry 200 g coarse breadcrumbs from a stale loaf with 10 salted anchovy fillets, 4 finely chopped cloves of garlic and 1 teaspoon chilli flakes in 8 tablespoons of olive oil for around 5 minutes, or until crunchy. Toss with the pici and add grated Parmesan to taste.
Tags:
Italy
Italian
Caldesi
Tuscany
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