Homemade pici pasta with Bertolli Riserva Marinara and fresh steamed artichokes brings a springtime, Tuscan-inspired dinner to your table just in time for Meatless Monday.
My husband and I were on our honeymoon driving to the Tuscan countryside from the airport in Rome. Hungry for lunch we pulled into an utterly nondescript roadside restaurant where, with rather low expectations, I ordered something I’d never even heard of. Pici. I mean, whatever, right? I figured it was pasta and I was in Italy (albeit in-the-middle-of-nowhere Italy) how bad could it be?
And even though I’ve often thought about (dreamed about) that meal in the many many years that have followed, I have never ever considered making pici myself. Until Bertolli contacted me about doing this post. Thank you, Bertolli! My kids thank you as well!
Homemade Pici Pasta Recipe with Steamed Artichokes
Pici pasta is traditionally served with a light tomato sauce with garlic so Bertolli Riserva Marinara fits the bill perfectly. It boasts enough flavor to satisfy and is still light enough not to overpower the very simple pasta. Pici is made with just flour and water and a splash of olive oil so it is very delicate. Perfect for spring when you don’t want a heavy pasta weighing you down. It’s lightness also makes it a great companion for the mild taste of fresh artichokes which are everywhere right now.
If, like us, you are trying to eat less meat this meal is a great option.
So here’s the first thing you need to know. Making pasta is super fun. I’d never done it before because I don’t have a pasta rolly crank machine thingy. But pici pasta is hand rolled! #winning!
How to make pici pasta
2) Mix with a fork until shaggy. Then work it with your hands until the dough comes together, wrap in plastic and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
3) Divide dough in four. Cover three parts with plastic wrap to keep moist and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out one part to about 1/4 to 1/8 inch. Cut into strips.
4) Separate one strip to roll out. Cover the rest with plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out.
6) Boil in well salted water for 5 minutes.
Bertolli’s website is a lot like a cooking school, full of tips including the best way to roll out pasta (which will come in handy when making this meal!)
And here is a visual for how to prepare the fresh artichokes. They’re delightful with a little salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Dipping them in the marinara is also highly encouraged.
**Note: You will steam them with the lid on**
One important step I didn’t manage to photograph is removing the choke in the center after they’re steamed. There are some helpful videos on YouTube to guide you if you’ve never done that before.
This is such a simple, family-friendly meal. Bertolli Riserva Marinara complements the mild flavor of the artichokes and the light texture of the pasta perfectly.
Thank you to Bertolli for sponsoring this post and inspiring me to re-visit my first meal in Tuscany. It’s definitely a keeper. Viva Bertolli.
- 1 cup semolina flour
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup room temperature water
- 4 medium sized fresh artichokes
- 1 fresh lemon to rub on cut parts of artichoke and then add to the water for steaming.
- 1 jar Bertolli Riserva Marinara sauce
In a large bowl, combine flours and salt.
Make a well in the center of the flour.
Pour olive oil and water into the well.
Using a fork, start whisking the flour little by little in with the water.
When the dough is starting to come together but is still quite wet, pinch any dough off the fork and start using your hands. You'll want to feel for the right texture now. Continue combining flour until it forms a soft ball. You may not use all the flour. That is fine.
Knead dough for about 5 to 10 minutes.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
While resting dough, prepare and start to steam artichokes according to post.
To form the pici, divide dough into four sections. Any dough you aren't currently working on should be covered with plastic wrap.
Take one section of dough and roll out to about 1/4 to 1/8 inch thickness using a rolling pin.
Cut into strips.
Then rolling out from the middle to the ends form a 8 to 12 inch long strand of pasta (similar in width and length to bucatini.)
Remove to lightly floured baking tray and cover until ready to cook.
Finish rolllng out all the pasta.
Check doneness of artichokes. They are done when the bottom leaves can easily be pulled off. When steamed, remove to a serving dish with a slotted spoon and let cool. Once cooled, cut in half and remove the choke.
In a medium pot, heat marinara sauce over medium-low heat.
Boil pasta in well-salted boiling water for 5 minutes.
Serve immediately with room temperature artichokes.