Pici pasta, a Tuscan traditional food you must try
25 September 2017
In an ideal ranking of the most representative Tuscan gastronomic specialties , the pici would be on the podium, because this kind of pasta has the distinctive traits of the cuisine of this region, appreciated all over the world.
First of all, it’s a dish of peasant tradition, whose origins, however, are even older: apparently, the Etruscans used to cook a sort of pici pasta, as depicted on a funeral monument dating back to V century BC and located at in the Tomb of the Leopardi di Tarquinia.
To invite you to taste this delicacy, we give you further information after having recommended this dish in the post Val Di Chiana Food Specialties You Should Taste, furthermore in Montepulciano and surroundings you can try many varieties of pici, of course always homemade!
What are pici and why they are called soThe name pici doesn’t have a certain origin, but the shape is very recognizable: it is a kind of pasta similar to spaghetti but wider, made only with flour and water.
They are very popular in the province of Siena and the name may derive from the verb “appiciare”, which in the Tuscan dialect means making the pasta pulling it and stretching it
Another hypothesis about the name concerns Marco Gavio Apicio, who was one of the most famous gourmets of antiquity, author of the book De re Coquinaria, may have been among the first to spread the pici recipe.
Some argue that the word “pici” comes from San Felice in Pincis near Castelnuovo, in the province of Siena, or there may be a similarity with the silver fir Pigelleto, typical of the nature reserve of Monte Amiata, since it is white and narrow and stretched.
The pici are a kind of pasta that can be matched with different kinds of dressing, for example with ragu but also with olive oil, minced onion and salt.
Pici all’aglione, the specialty par excellence
If you want to know more about the pici, besides tasting them in our restaurant or in the surrounding area, we suggest making a stop at Celle Sul Rigo, hamlet of San Casciano dei Bagni, where the pici tradition is particularly strong.
A recipe that you should absolutely know is pici all’aglione, since only here you can find this kind of garlic, which has a most delicate flavor than the standard garlic, it’s characterized by the large size and today it’s very rare and difficult to find.
The pici all’aglione are cooked with tomato sauce, salt, 4 tablespoons of white wine and 4 or 5 cloves of aglione (for 4 people), an easy and unique recipe due to the high quality of the ingredients.
In Montepulciano there is a very common variant called pici alle briciole, prepared with crumbs of Tuscan bread in olive oil, however we are convinced that any pici dish will satisfy even the most demanding palates, so what are you waiting for?
The Tuscan gastronomic tradition deserves to be appreciated in all its shades, whatever season you choose for your vacation.
Preview photo Credits: Di Luca Nebuloni from Milan, Italy (Pici with ragù) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], attraverso Wikimedia Commons