Pici, traditional homemadewithlove pasta from Tuscany by La Taverna del Pian delle Mura
28 aprile 2014
If you are looking for a genuine place in Tuscany, do not forget to visit the Val D’Orcia among the green hills of Siena. Val d'Orcia is an amazing and fascinating valley which extends from the hills south of Siena to Mount Amiata. It has been UNESCO World Heritage site from 1994. Scattered with lovely small villages, the sinuous landscape reveals olive groves, vineyards and orderly rows of cypresses. And in the heart of the Val d’Orcia,lies the village Vivo d’Orcia where you can find the La Taverna del Pian delle Mura, a cozy restaurant where three special persons chose to join forces to offer an authentic traditional cuisine prepared local ingredients . Sharing a deep love for traditional products and clean farming, Luisa Battistini, Nadia Agostini and Umberto Bechini welcome you in this cozy tavern where to taste unforgettable recipes. Passing through a tiny, lovely outdoor space under the pergola, right upon walking into the restaurant, you can immediately perceive the keen attention to interiors, with textiles made of hemp and cotton, natural-only dyes and solid-wood furniture with artisan chairs. Luisa, Nadia and Umberto’s commitment to quality, far from being limited to their professions, imbues their lives. It originates from the cult of good and healthy food, and that’s why the cuisine they offer is 100% bound to both territory and seasonal produce. Once Luisa, the chef, said: ‘If we centered a pair of compasses on the peak of the mountain and drew a circle with a radius of 60 km, we would have all we need for our dishes here at the Taverna!’ This, indeed, is the very concept that lies behind Pian delle Mura, where recipes from the Val d'Orcia and Amiata areas find their way on the menu together with a few traditional local dishes, some of them almost forgotten. Everything is prepared solely with local products issued from organic and biodynamic agriculture to be accompanied by regional wines as Brunello di Montalcino DOCG and Rosso di Montalcino DOC and Orcia DOC. The recipe homemadewithlove of today by La Taverna del Pian dell Mura (Conosci il tuo pasto certified restaurant) is Pici with Waldnuts and Pancetta of Cinta Senese. Pici are a thick hand rolled pasta typical of the region. Cinta Senese (from Siena) is an ancient breed of medium size pig, free bred in the woodlands. Its name comes from its black coat with a white sash (cinta) that runs across its shoulders Here the recipe (for the Italian version click here) Pici with walnuts and pancetta tesa (the same cut ised to make bacon) Serves 6 For the pici 1 kg organic durum wheat flour (preferably Cappelli variety) 1 organic egg 1 cup of still water 1 pinch of salt For the sauce (sugo) 1 organic medium gold onion, 1 organic carrot, 1/2 celery stalk Three basil leaves 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil Toscano DOP 200 gr shelled wallnut kernels 300 of pancetta tesa from organic breeded Cinta Senese 1 pinch of salt On a flour-dusted surface (better marmor) place the flour, make a well in the center and crack the egg and salt. Gradually add temperature water. Knead for about 20 minutes until smooth and elastic. Let t rest for about ½ an hour . Roll the dough into a flat sheet, 1 cm (3/8 inch) thick and cut it into around 35mm (1,3 inches) wide. Each stripe has then to be rolled from the center outwards, working the dough with the palm of your hands to get an irregular “little snake” shape! Place the pici on a sheet tray forming like small nests shape and dust with flour to get dry. Prepare the sauce. Chop the onion, the carrot and the celery. Sauté in a large pan till drizzled with the extra virgin olive oil till the onion is translucent. Add the basil leaves, the roughly chopped walnuts and the pancetta cut into stripes. Stir at medium flame for around 5/6 minutes. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil over a high heat. Boil the pici for about 8-10. Drain them well and transfer them to the pan. Toss them with the sauce for about 2 minutes. Serve with fresh ricotta or grated pecorino Toscano cheese. Make sure you have a glass of a Rosso di Montalcino or Brunello wine!