Tuscan Pici, not the same pasta!
Each Italian region has its own traditional type fresh pasta, from the venetian Bigoli to the Cavatelli of Molise; there are dozen of type of fresh pasta, prepared with techniques and different ingredients, strictly connected with the territory. In Tuscany, together with the Pappardelle, you can find in every local restaurant the so-called Pici, a typical regional dish and in particular of the province of Siena.
Tuscan Pici: what are they?
The Pici, also called Pinci, are a sort of large spaghetti prepared with soft wheat flour and water, which diameter is about of 3-4 mm. Their size and their full-bodied consistency, together with the rough and irregular surface make them perfect for tasty and important sauces. In the past the peasant ate Pici, simply with oil and seared onion. Pici have the same length of Spaghetti, however because of the diameter, they require a cooking of 15 minutes.
How to make the Tuscan Pici
Because of their long history, the peasant tradition wants that the Pici are prepared with simple and basic ingredients: soft wheat flour, 0 type and not so elastic (not semolina, like other type of fresh pasta), water and a pinch of salt. The preparation, rigorously made with your hand, foresees to dough the ingredients together, then leave them to rest for almost half an hour. Roll out the dough, almost one centimetre high, and cut lots of thin stripes, hand rounded later, spinning the Pici until they are long and large spaghetti.
The right sauces for the Tuscan Pici
The traditional recipe to serve the Pici are various and connected with the typical products of the territory of Siena; considering their body, Pici are perfect with tasty and rich sauces. The typical seasoning is cacio and pepper whereas the “Pici all’aglione” are seasoned with the typical Tuscan sauce made with tomato with a soffritto of onion, carrot, celery a lots of grinded garlic. The “Pici alle briciole” are seasoned with crumbs of bread toasted with oil and garlic in a pan, whereas the “Pici con ragu di nana” are enriched with a duck ragu. Other traditional sauces foresee sausages and mushrooms, or sausages and potatoes and beans, to taste with a great Chianti or a Tuscan wine!