A couple of years ago, Peter and I were walking around Florence on a quiet afternoon, thinking about doing something spontaneous. I had a few restaurants written down that I wanted to try out, but we didn’t end up finding them and instead stumbled upon Trattoria 4 Leoni in Piazza della Passera. This specific piazza was full of locals – always a good sign, and 4 Leoni was packed to the brim of Italian-speaking patrons. I knew we had hit the jackpot. Best of all, they seated us without a reservation! I later found out that this was a very popular restaurant, but it was really fun to simply stumble upon it.
When reading over the menu, I noticed a dish based on the Tuscan noodle, “Pici.” Pici is basically thick spaghetti that is always homemade. While it’s pretty easy to make, I usually use spaghetti for a last-minute throw-it-together Tuesday night dish. If I’m cooking this on the weekends, it’ll get the special Pici treatment. This is a recipe I have been working on for about two years, and I think I finally have it perfect. I was actually thinking, and I think it would be perfect with Orecchiette as well, to catch the small pieces of sausage.
“Pici” with Sausage
serves 2 as a main course
100g dry spaghetti
salt for pasta water
2 tbsp olive oil, separated
2 italian sausages, removed from casing
1 carrot, diced
1 piece of celery, diced
50g pecorino romano, grated
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp parsley, minced
1. Bring water and salt to boil for pasta. When boiling, cook for 10-12 mins.
2. Add all other ingredients (except oil and parsley) together. Mix thoroughly with hands.
3. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in frying pan. When hot, add sausage mixture.
4. Cook, breaking up sausage as you go, for about 10 minutes or until cook through.
5. Add cooked spaghetti directly to frying pan, retaining some of the pasta water.
6. Toss, adding a little more olive oil if necessary.
7. Serve topped with parsley.
I should really add a Pici tutorial as well – what do you think?
PS – I am ten votes behind 1st place –> VOTE!