Pici Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes and Aromatic Herbs
Some pastas are best when made by hand. Pici pasta is one of them. It’s one of the thicker rolls of pasta you’ll find, and it’s traditionally made all over Tuscany. This particular recipe — which also features tomatoes, an ingredient in abundance every August — comes from the kitchen of Chef Silvia of our culinary vacation Cook Under the Tuscan Sun.
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_For the pasta:_
* 250 ml (9 oz)water
* 500 g (18 oz) flour
* Pinch of salt
_For the sauce:_
* 8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
* 1 tbsp aromatic herbs (thyme and marjoram )
* 500 g (18 oz) cherry tomatoes
* 2 cloves garlic
1. Start by making the pasta. Place the flour onto a board, and make a well in the center.
2. In the well, add water and slowly mix the flour, and continue to add a bit more water as the dough starts coming together. Your goal is a soft but not sticky mixture; don’t worry if it becomes stiff, as the dough will relax when it rests.
3. Form the dough into a ball, then cover loosely with a plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes.
4. Cut the dough into very thin pieces.
5. Roll each piece into a snake about ½ cm in diameter and 30-60 cm long. Continue until all the dough has been cut and rolled.
6. Next, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a saucepan along with the chopped garlic. Cook until the garlic is soft but not brown.
7. Add the cherry tomatoes (each chopped into four pieces), along with salt and pepper. Cook rapidly, stirring occasionally.
8. Add the aromatic herbs.
9. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil and drop in the pici pasta.
10. Boil the pici until they rise to the top, and then remove them with a slotted skimmer.
11. Transfer the pasta into the pan with the sauce. Add a handful of grated or, even better, shaved aged pecorino cheese. Serve immediately.