Pici Alla Truffle
A few weeks ago, I decided to try to make a no-equipment hand rolled pasta called Pici for dinner. I cooked it in a simple butter and cheese sauce and also added some some truffle cream (because it’s currently truffle season). I shared it on my Instagram without any intention of sharing the recipe and everyone went crazy for it, so I’ve decided to finally share it for this week’s recipe.
Pici is a thick, hand-rolled pasta, like fat spaghetti that originates from the town of Siena in Tuscany, Italy. The dough is typically made from flour and water only without any egg and each strand is hand rolled without the use of any equipment. It’s a rustic pasta with thick long strands and thin tapered ends with a slightly chewier texture than normal egg pasta. It’s rustic but delightful and when you cook it in a simple butter and cheese sauce, my gosh it’s incredible!
It’s a fun pasta to make, especially if you have a bit of time on your hands! Also because it is truffle season (with only a few weeks left) I’ve added in the option to stir through some truffle oil, truffle cream or even shave fresh truffle on top at the very end!
Cooking Time- 1.5 hours (including 30 minutes resting)
Skill Level- Easy
- 400g Tipo 00 or plain flour
- 200g of water
- A pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
½ cup of semolina flour for dusting
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 100g (1 cup) of grana padano or parmigiano reggiano
- Optional: your choice of truffle topping. 1 teaspoon of truffle cream, 1 tablespoon of truffle oil or some freshly shaved truffle.
Watch the process
- Combine all of your pasta ingredients into a bowl and mix to combine with a wooden spoon until you get a shaggy dough.
- Turn out the dough onto your kitchen bench and knead for about 5 minutes until all of the flour has fully incorporated and you have a somewhat smooth ball of dough.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place into the fridge for 30 minutes to rest. This allows the dough to relax and be easier to work with later.
- Remove the dough from the fridge. You’ll notice that it is now softer and easier to work with.
- Dust a rolling pin (or bottle of wine) with some flour and begin rolling out your dough on a lightly floured bench into a rectangular shape that is 1cm high.
- Once your dough is rolled out, it’s time to cut your dough into thin strips.
- Firstly, cut your dough in half and then start cutting 15g thin strips and using a digital scale to check the weight once you cut. Checking the weight is optional however it ensures more consistent lengths of pasta for each strand. Don’t worry too much if it’s not exactly 15g. if you accidently cut a piece that is too big (say over 18g), shave a bit off and if you cut a piece too light, stick one of the offcuts to it.
- Once you have cut all your pieces, grab a chopping board and take your first piece and using both hands, slowly but evenly roll it out into a long noodle. When you get towards the end place a bit more pressure onto the noodle using your fingers, to taper off the ends.
- Dust a large baking tray with semolina flour and place your hand rolled noodle into the tray whilst you roll the remaining strands.
- Once all of your pasta has been rolled, bring a pot of salted water to boil. Once boiling, add in your pici and cook for about 2 minutes. Fresh pasta is a lot faster to cook than dry, so make sure you don’t cook it for anymore than 2 minutes. Whilst most pastas tend to soften as they cook, pici actually takes on a chewier consistency. Once your water starts boiling again, your pasta should be ready to take out.
- Meanwhile, place a large pan on heat and add in your butter to melt. Once the butter has fully melted, turn the heat down to low. You don’t want to burn the butter.
- Transfer the pasta straight into your pan of butter and don’t worry about straining your pasta beforehand as you’ll need to add more pasta water to this.
- Stir for 15 seconds and allow the butter to absorb into the pasta. It should now start to look quite glossy.
- Now add 1-2 ladles of your starchy pasta water to the pan and stir to combine. The starch from the pasta water will emulsify with the better to turn in into a slightly creamy and glossy sauce. Once the sauce has come together and you are happy with the amount of liquid for the sauce, turn off the heat and then slowly add in your cheese. Stir your pasta and allow the cheese to melt into the sauce. If your pasta feels a bit dry, add a bit more pasta water to it.
- Then if you have truffle cream or oil, add it to the pasta and gently stir it in to combine.
- Transfer the pasta to plates to serve and if you have some, finely grate some fresh truffle using a microplane or a knife on top. Enjoy!