I do not know about y’all, but I feel that this Summer has flown by. I really haven’t had a chance to just stop, slow down and enjoy it. From the every-so-fun apartment moving to start a new job, I’m looking forward to the Fall, to hopefully fall back into place and a routine.
But honestly, what can’t a nice plate of pasta solve? Tomatoes are at their peak and I love andouille sausage, so why not make a nice comforting pasta dish? Pici is a semolina-based dough, with no egg, that is similar to spaghetti but thicker. It is also rolled by hand and when cooked expands into this semi-thick udon-like noodle. They have a great bite and texture to them.
For months now, I flipped through this cookbook, Flour+Water | Pasta, and marked off pages of recipes I wanted to tackle. Well guys, I finally did it! Made some pasta! After a lot of trials in the past, a lot of egg yolks went to waste, and a ball of failed pasta dough was tossed in the trash. I followed Thomas McNaughton’s recipe to a “T” and loved the results. It is a beautiful cookbook with drool-worthy pictures and recipes. Great instructions on technique and the science behind pasta making.
Recipe: Roasted Tomato Sauce & Andouille With Pici Pasta
Pici pasta is hand-rolled into these little ropes. When your dough is made, cut it into six pieces.
Take each piece and flatten it out. Then slice the flatten-out piece into 1/4 lengths. If some pieces are longer than the others, that is okay.
With one strip of dough, roll into a tube and then starting at the middle, roll outwards to the ends. Repeat until stretched to the desired length.
I opted to roast the tomatoes whole with aromatics of fresh basil, oregano, a little extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and garlic cloves. It created this beautiful well-seasoned tomatoey liquid that I could not stop getting a taste of–you will know what I mean.
After the roast, I took half of the tomatoes and some of the liquid to puree. Leave the other half to rough chop and add to the sauce. Fry up some fresh andouille sausage (just take them out of the casing) and then add to the sauce.
To finish off the dish, you can use some parmesan or cheese of choice, but I went with some creamy delicious ricotta cheese seasoned with a little salt. As the ricotta was spooned over the hot pasta, it just melted into it creating this creamy sauce. I hope y’all enjoy this as much as I did!
- 180 grams of semolina flour
- 180 grams 00 flour
- 178 grams warm water 3/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 4 large tomatoes
- extra virgin olive oil
- a bunch of fresh herbs (basil, rosemary, oregano) 1-2 sprigs of each
- red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 links fresh andouille sausage
- 3-4 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup good quality ricotta cheese
- Combine the flours and place them on a dry, clean work surface, forming a mound about 8 to 10 inches in diameter at its base. Using the bottom of a measuring cup, create a well 4 to 5 inches wide, with at least a half inch of flour on the bottom.
- Using a fork, stir the middle of the well and slowly pour in the water, making sure to keep the integrity of the walls. Combine the flour and water into one big mass and knead the dough. The dough will be dry, so with a spray bottle filled with water, spritz several times to glue the loose flour to the mass.
- Once you’ve formed a ball, knead the dough by driving the heel of your hand into the dough. Push down and release, and then use your other hand to pick up and rotate the dough to 45 degrees. Drive the heel of your hand back into the dough, rotate, and repeat for 8-10 minutes.
- Wrap the dough tightly with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
- Dust two baking sheets with semolina flour and set aside. Divide the dough in half. Working with half of the dough at a time, flatten it on a clean surface as much as possible to a rectangle that’s about 1/4 inch thick and 4 inches wide. Cut dough into slices about 1/4 inch thick.
- Using your fingers, roll out the individual noodles. Start in the middle of one slice, and work your way out toward the edges, rolling back and forth. Repeat until noodle is about 16 to 18 inches long. Place the noodles on the prepared baking sheets and sprinkle with semolina flour.
Roasted Tomato Sauce & Andouille:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the tops off the tomatoes and place in a small roasting pan with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh herbs, pepper flakes, and a pinch of kosher salt in the oven. Roast for 30-45 minutes until tomatoes begin to get soft and brown. Cool down.
- You can either puree all of the tomatoes and their juices or puree half and rough chop the others. Depending on if you want a smooth or chunky sauce.
- Take the andouille sausage out of the casings and begin browning in a saute pan for 4-5 minutes. While your andouille is cooking, bring a pot of salted water to a boil to cook pasta. Pour the tomato puree into the pan with the sausage. Season with salt and pepper flakes or fresh herbs if you choose.
- Cook the Pici for 3-4 minutes in boiling water. Drain and transfer to a skillet over medium heat, add butter, and cook for 7 minutes until tender. Serve with the sauce and a dollop of ricotta cheese.
The pici recipe comes from the Flour+Water | Pasta cookbook by Thomas Mcnaughton.