There’s no denying, this pasta takes time; with three people it took close to an hour to roll out an entire batch. But if you’ve got a lot of hands you want to keep busy, it’s a perfect dish. The rolling becomes relaxing as conversation blossoms around the table, turning out thick and chewy strands that get bathed in a simple, spicy sauce. If you’re in a hurry, make the sauce from scratch and sub dried noodles for the homemade ones.
UMBRICHELLI (also called Pici, in Southern Tuscany)
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon chile flakes
2 cups crushed organic tomatoes
salt and pepper
Pulse together umbrichelli ingredients in a food processor until the dough comes together into a rough ball. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 6-8 minutes, until smooth with a slight sheen. Form the dough into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap and let rest for half an hour. Lay a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with flour. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
Roll the dough into a flat disc a half inch thick, then slice into strings a quarter of an inch wide. Cut each string into 1 inch long pieces. One at a time, lay a piece of dough on a (non-floured) wooden board and, moving from your fingertips to your palms and back from the inside to the ends, roll and stretch the dough until it resembles a 10-inch long piece of thick spaghetti. Place on the cookie sheet, toss with flour and repeat with the next piece of dough. Continue to fluff pasta with flour in between batches to prevent the strands from sticking together.
To make the sauce. Heat the olive oil over medium high heat and cook garlic, ginger and chiles for 5 minutes, until garlic is tender and fragrant. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper, bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for 15 minutes.
When all the pasta is rolled, cook it for 4-5 minutes in rapidly boiling water, until just tender to the bite. Toss with sauce.