Hotel Casolare Le Terre Rosse – San Gimignano

Tuscan handmade pasta

Pici Toscani

In Tuscany there are many pasta dishes prepared with important, full-bodied sauces, such as duck, wild boar, sheep, hare or rabbit.

Le Pappardelle

The Pappardelle are a traditional Tuscan pasta format, very similar to tagliatelle, but wider. Difficult to establish which is the correct measure.. Also for the dough, the opinions are controversial, those who use white flour, those who use semolina, those who mix both.

It is a Tuscan pasta format used mainly in combination with game sauces, such as wild boar ragout, hare ragout, but also woodcock. Once the base of the meat sauce is made, it will be sufficient to boil the pappardelle in boiling water, and keep them slightly soft to mix well with the sauce.

There are also variations of pappardelle with white sauce, such as Cinta senese, made simply without adding the tomato to the minced meat.

The Pici

Water, flour, oil, salt, sometimes a little semolina flour: it is the mix of ingredients  that gives life to the pici. The Pici are irregular spaghettoni obtained from a rather large sheet, from which diamonds are obtained which are then rolled on the pastry board, to be finally stretched with the hands until these thick and rough pasta threads are obtained. Also called lunghetti, they are seasoned in different ways depending on the area: duck sauce in the Siena area, or simple garlic and oil (“pici all’aglione“), sausage sauce in Montalcino, sometimes embellished with mushrooms. However, the oldest peasant condiment is the crumb, a set of crumbled dry bread, extra virgin olive oil and garlic.

The first evidence of the preparation of the pici is very ancient: in the famous Etruscan tomb of  Leopardi poet, in Tarquinia, there is a fresco depicting the scene of a banquet, in which a servant holds in his hands a bowl containing a pasta similar to spaghetti from the irregular shape.