Menu May 2019

Menu May 2019

First Course: Pici con le briciole e il finocchio selvatico

(= Pici with Breadcrumbs and Wild Fennel)

Recommended wine: Pinot Grigio I.G.T.

Pici con le briciole e il finocchio selvatico Ingredients for 4 people: For the Pici: 300 g plain flour 100 g wholegrain stoneground durum wheat flour 200 ml approx. warm water. 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil a little semolina salt ---- For the sauce: 8 slices stale Tuscan bread 1 bunch of wild fennel 1 tsp dried fennel seeds ½ glass red wine (such as a young Chianti) 1 slice Guanciale (cured pork jowl) or fatty cured ham or streaky bacon (approx. 80g) 1 sprig of rosemary 2 cloves of garlic with the skin on 7-8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil salt black pepper grated pecorino cheese (optional, to serve on the table with the pasta)

Heap the two types of flour up on your table (or on a wooden pastry board if you have one) and create a “well” in the centre; put a tablespoon of oil and a pinch of salt in the “well” and mix everything together adding the warm water, a little at a time (the quantity may vary according to the type of flour used). Knead for 10 minutes until you have a smooth ball of dough that’s elastic but not sticky. Leave the dough to rest for half an hour wrapped in cling film. Then roll it out, using a rolling pin, to form a rectangle roughly 1.5-2 cm thick. Cut the dough into strips and, one at a time, roll them with the palms of your hands on a floured surface to form large irregular “spaghetti”. Sprinkle a little semolina over them and spread them out, well apart, on a cloth.

To make the sauce for the Pici, crumble the inside of the bread coarsely and cut the crust into small cubes. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan with 2 cloves of garlic (with their skins on), the sprig of rosemary, the Guanciale cut into small cubes and the teaspoon of dried fennel seeds (you can use more of them if you don’t have any fresh fennel available). When the ingredients have browned, add the breadcrumbs and, after sautéing them well, pour in the half glass of wine. Let it evaporate over a high heat and, when the breadcrumbs have “dried out”, add the Pici – which you have cooked in plenty of boiling, salted water until “al dente” and then strained well – and the fresh wild fennel (only the feathery leaves) stirring thoroughly. Turn off the heat, garnish with a few “sprigs” of wild fennel and a good sprinkling of black pepper, and buon appetito!