Pici is a fat spaghetti format that is typical of the Siena region in Tuscany. Within the province of Siena resides the Val d'Orcia (Orcia Valley), with its rolling hills and strings of cypress trees that outline the individual landowners' properties and old farmhouses or castles adorning every hilltop. In this idyllic setting, a few miles from Castiglione d'Orcia, you will find the Pastificio Toscano run by the Panarese family. The pasta they make is unique, as it is made from wheat they cultivate themselves on more than 3000 acres of property they own, and using only the purest water from the nereby Mt. Amiata, which is renowned for its lack of calcium and solid residues. These pure ingredients are processed in Panarese's own pasta lab, where the formats are bronze drawn and air dried for 72 hours. This process ensures that the pasta has the right surface texture to capture any condiment of choice, and the lack of any applied heat during the drying process ensures that the pasta doesn't lose any of its properties. The signature format of Pasta Panarese is the Pici, a fat spaghetti that cooks for almost 25 minutes and retains a consistency that is unique to its shape and girth. Pici are usually served 'all'Aglione', a simple tomato and garlic sauce or the equally delightful 'Cacio e Pepe' where the cooked pasta is sauteed in a pan with fresh pecorino cheese, black pepper, and a little cooking water to create a smooth, velvety, creamy sauce that is an absolute treat to eat.
Pici with Breadcrumbs
Pici Cacio e Pepe