Pici al Pomodoro

On one of our nights in, Alex and I decided to take what we’d learnt over the course of our several days in Italy and make a dish using pici, a traditional Tuscan pasta noodle. We began by slicing little x’s into cherry tomatoes (about two container’s worth). This makes the tomatoes easier to peel after they’ve been boiled.Next we boiled the tomatoes for a few short minutes, watching for the skins to start coming apart before removing them from the water.

Then we carefully peeled the skins off of the tomatoes. The wider you make your initial cuts, the easier it is to peel them after they’ve been boiled. It’s also easier to peel them if you use a knife- this also prevents the tomatoes from getting crushed.

While Alex was peeling tomatoes, I finely chopped up one large white onion, as well as four cloves of garlic.

I then placed them in a pan with a generous amount of olive oil (produced by the people who owned the farmhouse where we stayed!) and sauteed everything.

We then added a generous amount of white wine to the mix- it is best to add the wine now as opposed to after the tomatoes are thrown in because the less items in the pan, the easier and faster it is to cook off the wine.

Once the wine had all but evaporated, we poured in the peeled tomatoes.

We mashed the tomatoes up a bit and then left the mixture to simmer. We also started boiling the pici at this point, as it takes nearly 22 minutes to cook!

Once the sauce had reached a pretty even consistency we added some cream to bulk it up- this isn’t necessary, however we added it to even out our pasta to sauce ratio.

While the sauce simmered away and the pasta cooked, we set the table- complete with red and white wine, bread and a hunk of grana padano cheese.

Once the pasta was finally done, we combined it all in the pot and served it hot. We topped it with plenty of cheese and basil, as well as a drizzle of olive oil…when in (almost) Rome, right?

-priya

Pici al Pomodoro