WINTER RECIPE TO WARM THE SOUL
At the center of almost every menu in Tuscany is a classic ragout. Recipes are passed down from generation to generation and change significantly from table to table. As in everything, however, it is the quality of the ingredients that makes the difference, especially when it comes to meat. We are fortunate to have a number of legendary butchers on hand (Oliviero, Falorni and Dario Cecchini).
Pici with Ragout
Making pici is a wonderful activity for the whole family and is surprisingly easy-it just requires a little patience.
Serves 4 people
Ingredients of pici
- 250 g of “00” type flour
- 250 g of ancient grain flour
- Salt up
- A glass of Montecalvi extra virgin olive oil
- 250ml lukewarm water
Sift the flours into a bowl and add salt and a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Then gradually add the water while mixing with your hands. Remove from bowl onto a pastry board and begin kneading gently for about 5 minutes (not too hard and not too long).
Wrap in plastic wrap and set aside in a cool, dry place for about 1 hour.
Divide the dough into quarters. Knead and roll out into a sheet (about 1 cm thick) and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Cut into 0.5 cm strips. Then pinch and roll each individual strip. Dust with flour and set aside as “nests” ready for baking.
Pici should be prepared on the day of consumption.
Cooking time: 6 minutes
Ingredients for the ragout
- 3 tablespoons of Montecalvi extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion peeled and finely chopped
- 1 carrot peeled and finely chopped
- 1 finely chopped celery stalk
- 300 g of finely ground beef and pork (if you can’t find it, beef will do)
- 350 g of tomato puree
- A generous glass of red wine
- Salt and black pepper to taste
In a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-low heat, heat olive oil and gently sauté the onion, carrot, and celery with a little salt until they soften and begin to turn translucent.
Crumble the meat into the pan and keep moving it around until it has lost its pink color. Then add a generous sip of red wine-it is clear that the better the wine, the better your ragout will be. Let it reduce a little and then add the passata with a little salt and pepper.
Reduce the flame to low and let it cook very gently for at least an hour, possibly two if you have time. If the ragout dries out, add a little water to keep it.
At the time of serving, mix the ragout with the pici and serve on a platter. In Tuscany, cheese is rarely added, but a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil is always a must.
For a perfect soulful pairing, we particularly like this dish with our 2016 AVG.