In Jenuary I decided to join the MTC, a challenge between bloggers: every month everybody make the same recipe, but all dishes are obviously different, ’cause everyone makes some changes, so that his/her recipe becomes unique.
And the crazy thing is that this decision has brought me luck, because January recipe was pici, a type of fresh pasta that awakens in me so many memories of a long gone holiday I spent in Umbria (I checked the pictures: damn it, it was the year 2007). For me pici mean Umbria, Trasimeno lake (where I ate pici with a rich duck ragù), a green and hospitable land, with a great history and culture.
Making pici I was able to remember all these things, and I hope I could return soon to Umbria, but also I hope to discover the Tuscan side of this dish.
For the seasoning of this wonderful dish, I chose a very Piedmontese sauce, instead. I chose a chicken livers ragù, typical of Langhe region, a very poor sauce, with a strong and rustic taste, and yet very velvety on the palate.
|Pici with chicken livers ragù||
- For the pici
- 250 g 00 flour
- 125 g wheat semolina
- 2 teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- a pinch of salt
- Note by Patty: The amount of water varies on the type of flour you use. In general, for this amount of flour a glass or less is sufficient, but it’s up to you to observe how much water add so that your dough will be soft. The proportion between the two flour is always 2:1, two parts of 00 flour and one part of wheat semolina that will give structure to the dough. So you won’t need any eggs.
- For the ragù (you’ll have some leftovers: for 5 servings you could half he doses)
- extra-virgin olive oil
- a clove of garlic
- an onion, finely chopped
- bay leaves
- 500 g chicken livers, finely chopped or sliced
- a glass of red wine
- peeled tomatoes (I always use the ones I made last summer)
- Make a fountain with the two flours. Pour the oil in, add a pinch of salt and slowly pour in the water; begin to incorporate the flour with a fork. Don’t add too much salt, ’cause it hardens the dough.
- When the dough begins to stick together, start kneading using your hands. If necessary, add some water or some flour.
- Fold the dough and knead it, with energy but don’t stretch it too much (don’t enervate it). “Massage” it with energy for at least 10 minutes. Remember that your dough is a living thing, you have to love it.
- You’d obtain a smooth and quite soft dough. Let it rest at least half an hour wrapped in plastic.
- When the dough is ready, cut a piece and make a ball, then roll it out on a floured work top with a rolling pin until it’s 1 cm thick. With a sharp knife, cut a lot of 1 cm wide strips; while you do it, cover the remaining dough with plastic wrap, so that it doesn’t dry out.
- Begin to form your pici (strings), rolling the dough with the palms of your hands and simultaneously stretching them.
- Once you have your pici, roll them in flour so that they don’t stick one another.
- For the sauce, heat in a saucepan a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and sauté garlic and onion in it for a few minutes with rosemary and bay leaves.
- Then add the chicken livers and sauté them until golden brown. Season with salt and pour in the red wine.
- Once the liquid has evaporated, add the peeled tomatoes (I used a large jar -half a kilo).
- Cover with a lid and let it cook on low heat for at least 40 minutes (chicken livers require a shorter cooking time than regular ragù, made with ground beef): I cooked mine almost an hour. Stir the sauce from time to time and press the tomatoes with a fork or wooden spoon, too.
- Bring a pan of salted water to a boil and then put your pici on (you could add some oil in the water, to prevent pici to stick one another); when they surface they’re ready: drain them and garnish them with a lot of livers ragù. Serve piping hot.