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Rolling Pici

Rolling Pici:

Learning to Make Pasta at Fattoria del Colle




One of the activities we always get to do on retreat in Tuscany is pasta making. We have a short afternoon class where we learn to make Pici pasta, a Tuscan pasta that has been made with a simple egg-free dough for centuries!


It takes no time at all to make this thick hand-rolled pasta from the area. It's made with just flour, water and olive oil. And love of course!





Our host Alfredo always reminds us that the most important ingredient is love. Families gather around to make it together on Sunday afternoons. 


The great thing about this pasta is it's really easy to work with, perfect for beginner pasta makers or if you're short on time and it can be served with pretty much any sauce!


In Tuscany, Pici is commonly served with a duck ragu sauce.


When we make our pasta together, there are always a lot of laughs in the kitchen. Then later that night the chefs turn our little nests of dough into our dinner! 


It’s such a delightful part of the retreat to share an afternoon with the incredible cooks at Fattoria and then to later see what they do to turn our simple pasta into a beautiful meal!






If you’ve been on retreat with us, but you forgot to write down the recipe, you can follow these easy instructions to make your own Pici pasta at home! If you want a richer dough you can add one egg to the water and oil mixture.






A Tuscan Grandmother’s Pici Recipe



INGREDIENTS:

300 g Italian 00 Flour 

150 ml warm water (⅔ cup)

3 tablespoons Italian olive oil

Semolina for dusting pasta pieces

 

Put the flour in a bowl and form a well in the center. 


Add the olive oil and warm water to the well and incorporate it into the flour using a fork until a rough dough forms.


Knead the dough - Once a rough dough has formed, knead the dough for ten minutes until it’s smooth and elastic. 


Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for thirty minutes.


Without adding any extra flour, roll the dough out until it is just about 1cm thick. Next, cut the dough into ¼ inch thick strips.


One at a time, roll each strip out on a clean work surface to resemble thick spaghetti. The pasta needs enough grip to roll so don’t add any flour or you won’t be able to roll it out. Place each piece of rolled out pici on a tray or separate area dusted with semolina to stop the pieces from sticking to each other.


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the pici pasta and boil for 2-3 minutes then drain and toss with pasta sauce of your choice.




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