Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pici Party

During our stay in Tuscany we came to appreciate pici, a pasta that is best described as "fat spaghetti".  Pici is usually served with a rich meat sauce made with wild boar meat.   Last Saturday we tried our hand at making pici, quite literally since we don't have a pasta maker.  Making the dough was very easy; we just spread some flour on the counter,  mixed in eggs and olive oil and kneaded the mixture to a soft dough. Forming the pici into strands was more challenging.  It tasted great though, when with a Bison Red Sauce using garden tomato sauce from HHR gardens.

Now, we have an appreciation for both the old world methods for making pasta and modern pasta makers.

by Martha Stewart

5 lg Eggs

1/4 c Extra-virgin olive oil; plus

1 ts Extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt

1/4 c Coarsely-ground cornmeal

1/4 c Grated Pecorino-Romano
Place flour on a clean work surface, forming a well in the center. Add eggs to center of well; beat with a fork. Add 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup water, and coarse salt. Use your hands to slowly mix the flour into the liquid. When dough forms and comes together, lift it out of the remaining flour on the work surface using a bench scraper. Sift the flour on the work surface; set aside. Knead dough for 2 to 3 minutes, adding a little more flour if necessary to prevent sticking. Brush top of dough with remaining teaspoon olive oil to prevent skin from forming, and cover with an inverted bowl. Let rest for 30 minutes. Sprinkle two baking sheets or platters with cornmeal. Divide dough into eight pieces. Lightly flour a work surface with a little of the reserved flour, and roll out or pat one piece of dough into a rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Cut dough crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Transfer dough to a clean surface and, using your hands, roll each strip into a strand of spaghetti. Place on prepared baking sheets or platters. Repeat with remaining dough. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, adding salt. Cook pasta until al dente, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain, and toss with 2 tablespoons cheese. 

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