When making the pici, you can either use a pici roller - see the picture - buy one next time you are in Italy - or you can roll them out by hand. A new favorite in our cooking school here in Umbria - even if the dish is tuscan - but we are "straneri" - so these rules do not apply to us.
500 g Tipo 00 flour
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
250 ml water, not too cold
semola for dusting
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2 tins of San Marzano, 400 g each
sea salt and black pepper
Start by making the pasta dough. In a bowl mix the flour and the salt, make a well in the middle and pour in the oil and most of the water. Now bring the dough together with your fingers, adding the rest of the water if needed. Now turn out the dough and knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Wrap in cling film and let it rest on the work bench for 30-45 minutes.
Meanwhile it is time to cook the sauce. In large frying pan with high sides - great to cook pasta dishes in - heat the olive oil. Add the garlic straight away and let them slowly caramelize as the oil heats up. Now pour in the tinned tomatoes and break them up with the back of a wooden spoon. Cover with a lid and let the sauce simmer for 20-30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Now unwrap the pasta dough and cut it into smaller pieces. Working with one piece at the time - roll out the dough to about 4-5 mm in thickness. Are you the lucky owner of a pici roller - then this is the time to pull t out - otherwise cut the dough into thin strips. Now roll them with your hands, while stretching them slightly - a bit like making grissini. Place the pici on a tray dusted with semola and coat them evenly. Use the rest of the dough in the same manner. If you aren't cooking the pasta right away, store them uncovered in the fridge.
Once you are ready to eat, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Shake of excess semola and cook the pici for 2-3 minutes until al dente. Reheat the sauce - once cooked add the pici to the sauce and mix well to coat - always reserve some of the cooking water, so you can add it to the sauce, should it dry up.
Serve drizzled with a little strong flavored olive oil - at our house we never serve