Handmade Pici Pasta with Tomatoes and Capers
For the dough...
Add 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt to 300 grams 00 flour in a medium bowl. Gently mix to combine. Slowly incorporate 150 grams (~2/3 cup) water into the flour, using a fork to mix. Dump the flour onto a wooden board and knead vigorously until well-combined and a firm, very smooth dough forms. Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes at room temperature, tightly wrapped or covered with the bowl or a damp towel.
Time to shape...
1. Cut off about 1/4 of the dough and, with a rolling pin, roll the section into a slab about 1/2 centimeter thick. Brush the dough lightly with olive oil on all sides to prevent drying.
2. Cut the slab into strips about 1 centimeter wide.
3. Roll each strip into ropes, about the thickness of bucatini. Do this quickly to prevent drying and breakage.
4. Dust the pici in semolina flour, then wrap gently into a nest and set aside. Repeat until all the dough is formed.
For this recipe, a bit out of the ordinary for me, I tested out a salsa alla campagnola from Il Vallino--a simple pomodoro sauce with onions, extra-virgin olive oil, basil, and other aromatics. I mixed the sauce with a tablespoon of capers and additional high-quality olive oil over medium heat for a few minutes until heated through. Meanwhile, bring a pot of very well-salted water to a boil and cook the pici until al dente, about 1-2 minutes. Add cooked pasta to the sauce and toss to combine. Serve immediately with a dusting of pecorino cheese. (Pici is perfect for tomato-based sauces, as well as creamy and cheese sauces like cacio e pepe). Enjoy!