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Homemade Pasta in a Snap

Oretta Zanini De Vita, author of Encyclopedia of Pasta, shares her recipe for rustic Tuscan pici. No machine or rolling pin required.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


  • 6 lb all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon lightly fruity extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Sift the flour and salt onto a wood cutting board. Shape into a mound and make a well in the center. Carefully pour the water and oil into the well. Stir with a fork to incorporate the flour, a little at a time, into the water and oil until you have a dough. Knead the dough, pressing down on it with your palms until it is very firm (at least 20 minutes). Cover with an inverted bowl and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Pinch off a walnut-size piece of dough. Using your palms, roll the dough on the board until it resembles a thick piece of spaghetti about 10 inches long. Repeat until you have used up all the dough. Lay the pici on a floured kitchen towel and cover with a second towel. Do not leave them for more than a few hours. Boil the pici in a large pot of salted water until al dente (up to 20 minutes). Serve with your favorite tomato sauce.

Photograph by Lucas Zarebinski
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