Pici – Pasta with crispy anchovies
With our Karma Curated experience in Tuscany around the corner, we’re heading to Italy for our culinary offerings over the next few editions! Here’s one of the favourite recipes from our talented chef team at Karma Borgo di Colleoli: A salty, tangy al dente treat!
Pici are a fresh pasta, similar to spaghetti, made with water, flour and salt. A simple preparation, typical of the Tuscan culinary tradition and regarded as ‘peasant food’ – meaning it’s both delicious and filling!
Some say the origins of the name “Pici” come from Marco Gavio Apicius, an important Roman gastronome and author of the famous work “De re Coquinaria”. Others however, believe it derives from San Felice in Picis. However, the name most likely originated from the gesture made with the palm of the hand, when the picio is given its shape: a gesture that, in Tuscan culinary jargon, is “appicciare” which alludes to getting sticky hands.
The pasta ingredients
Pour the flour into a bowl, add the warm water and salt and knead vigorously for about 10 minutes, until a mixture is obtained. Cover it with cling film and let it rest for 30 minutes. Then roll out the dough with a rolling pin so as to obtain a sheet about 1 cm high. Make strips and work them with the palms of your hands by rolling them on a work surface: the pici must be long and thin, with a uniform thickness. Now roll out the dough on a cloth dusted with semolina or flour, to prevent them from sticking, but also to keep them from drying out. Your pici are ready to be cooked in plenty of boiling salted water and seasoned to taste.
The recipe Pici pasta with butter and anchovies that we offer at our Enoteca is a sauce obtained by cooking butter with anchovies:
Pici butter and anchovies for 1 person:
Cook the butter well until it is slightly colored and add the anchovies. Let the latter melt away.
Once the pici are cooked, sauté them in a pan with the sauce. Serve and complete the dish with the breadcrumbs.
Looks interesting. It would be great if the chef could suggest a vegetarian alternative where possible to the dish. For example what could we use instead of anchovies in the dish above to get close to the original intent. Thanks.