I seem to be in a habit of being entirely useless on Sundays. This is 100% due to my inevitable hangover. I think back now at my 19 year old self who never had a hangover and hate her. I really thought I had until 30 for my liver to shut down on me. In response to the weekend plan question I always answer with “I will not be hungover. I will go to the gym both days. I will wake up early”. And then every Sunday I say “fail”.
To drown myself in sorrow, each Sunday I dive into my cookbook collection, watch 30 Rock and decide what to cook for dinner. Obviously this brings me complete happiness.
Don’t feel afraid to give these pici a go, they are easier then you may think. Pici is a thick, hand rolled, fat spaghetti and brings a chewiness to your dish. They are unlike normal pasta which requires egg and a pasta maker. Give yourself time for this recipe though so you can enjoy each step. Think Sunday afternoon.
Using soy and fish sauce in this recipe brings a new depth to the classic bolognese that will be unlike anything you have tasted. Technically, these sauces bring umami to the dish – a take on saltiness for our taste buds. Don’t worry, it won’t taste like Japanese food or have a fishy taste – just follow my measurements 😉
Pici con Bolognese
1 carrot, chopped into cubes
1 celery stick, chopped into cubes
1 onion, diced
4 clove of garlic, chopped finely
4 rashes of pancetta, roughly chopped
250g pork mince
250g beef mince
4tbs tomato paste
2 stalks of rosemary
Half a bottle of white wine
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup milk
2tsp soy sauce
2tsp fish sauce
300g semolina flour
Heat the olive oil in a large pot then over a low heat sauté the carrot, onion and celery for 20 minutes stirring frequently. This will release the flavours of the bolognese base. Turn up the heat then add the garlic and pancetta until fragrant – about 5 minutes. Add the meat to the pot breaking up as you go until the meat is browned then stir through the tomato paste.
Pour the wine in the pot and for a further 5-10 minutes or until the liquid has reduced followed by the stock and rosemary. Cook this for 1 hour. Now add the milk, soy, fish sauce, sugar and salt and cook for a further hour. The ragu should now be dark and thick and very intense! Taste here to ensure the balance between sweet and salty is spot on.
For the pici:
While the bolognese is cooking get started on your pasta. Measure out the semolina in a large bowl then very slowly add 1/4 cup cold water. Stir this around. This should give you the initial gauge of how much more water you need. You want the dough to be more on the dry side than wet so go easy and gently on the water until the dough is just combined.
Plop the dough onto a clean surface sprinkled with semolina and kneed for 10 minutes…
You want the dough to be light and puffy…
Getting golf ball sizes at a time, roll out the dough to 1-2cm thick…
Then using your fingers, roll out your pici..
You want them to be a little thick so you get that chewiness…
Sprinkle semolina as you go to ensure they don’t stick and put aside until your bolognese is ready.
To cook – bring salted, oiled water to the boil and cook for 5-7 minutes. Taste here as the time wild spend on your thickness. Once cooked drain and rinse out the starch.
Serve with pecorino and fresh basil…
If you like this recipe please comment below. I would love to know your thoughts and how you went cooking this at home 🙂