The “pici” is an speciality of the Tuscan cuisine that we might call "poor cooking" because it is a paste originally from the rural areas, that was prepared with the minimum required, in order to be able to eat something that filled out a lot and that "tricked" the stomach during times of famine. Pici are similar in shape to spaghetti but somewhat thicker and hand-made one by one.
Ingredients for 4:
500 gr flour
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Place on a wooden board or on the marble of the kitchen the flour, then add the oil an egg, a pinch of salt and warm water. Go mixing well and add water if necessary to knead properly. Mixing should be uniform and have to be worked vigorously with the palms of the hands. Once the dough is well-worked spread it with a bit of oil so that it doesn't get dry and left to rest for about 20 minutes.
After that time either stretch the dough with the roller and make a paste, not very fine, half a centimetre or so. Cut the dough into strips half inches wide and start working with your hands to give a form similar to the spaghetti.
They do not have to be neither too thin nor too thick to get a good cooking. One by one, in order to prevent them from drying out, pass them through a container with semolina flour, then shake to remove any traces of flour before cooking.
The cooking is done in boiling water for about 4 / 5 minutes. To accompany this type of pasta a meat sauce is preferentially recommended.
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