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San Donato’s Recipes Advent Calendar: Pici all’Aglione

  /  San Donato Blog   /  San Donato’s Recipes Advent Calendar: Pici all’Aglione

San Donato’s Recipes Advent Calendar: Pici all’Aglione

Pici, pici, pici the typical Sienese hand rolled pasta. From the appicciare: rolling it by hands, it was usually done by the women in the farm that would come all together rolling picio after picio while having a chat. This is the setting we suggest for you pici making – little tip if the chatting includes gossip the pasta gets more saucy! ūüėČ
It is such a marvellous pasta: easy to make, VEGAN – no egg is required – so you can make everyone happy, thick, plump and absolutely delicious.

Even though they work with nomerous pasta sauces their best combo is with Aglione sauce which is exactly the sauce we are proposing today!

So onto Aglione the secod big protagonist of today’s recipe: the Elefant Garlic produced in Tuscany since the Etruscan times. One the Slow Food presidio it has actually been rediscovered quite recently and has since charmed everyone with its subtle garlicky sweetness.


We find the first ever evidence of Pici in the famous ‚ÄúTomb of the leopards‚ÄĚ in Tarquinia, in Lazio, 470‚Äď450 BC; where we see a servant bringing a plate filled with a large portion of pici looking noodles .

Sadly the pici part has been slightly ruined by time so you’ll have to use your imagination!



  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of fine wheat semolina
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup of water

Combine on your wooden chopping board flour, semolina and salt. Then add, little by little, your water and mix it using a fork.
The fantastic thing of this recipe is that you can’t make mistakes: if you have added too much flour you simply add a little water, if the dough is too wet you add some flour.. just so easy!

Once the mixture has taken a more solid consistency start kneading it with your hands (using the palm). Keep kneading until it becomes smooth.
Let it rest for 20-30 minutes. Maybe start prepearing the sauce in the meantime.

Using a sharp knife, cut a piece of the pasta dough should not be bigger then your thumb. Slightly wet your board to ease in the process and roll the piece outwards, using both your hands, to obtain a picio – like the ones in the picture.

Keep doing this with the remaining dough and store them on a try by dustng them with semolina flour so they do not stick together. Don’t worry if the pieces are the same length or thickness, thats part of the fun.

Cook the pici pasta, as you would with all past: bring a large pot of water to boil and add a generous pinch of coarse salt. Once the water is boiling, drop the pici into the water and cook for 2-3 minutes (fresh pasta takes less time to cook than the dried kind).

Taste test and they are ready to go in the sauce.


  • Extra virgin Olive Oil
  • 800 g of vine tomatoes – you can used canned ones but it is important that the tomatoes are whole
  • 4-6 Aglione Cloves
  • Salt q.b.
  • Pepper q.b.
  • Chillies optional

Crush the garlic cloves lightly with the back of a large knife, then peel them and cut them in thin slices.
In a large saut√© pan or braiser, saut√© the garlic over the gentlest flame you can manage in a abundant olive oil until the cloves are soft. Make sure you don’t burn them.

Add the tomatoes to the pan, crushing them with your hands as you go or with the wodden spoon once in the pan, then add a pinch of salt, a generous grinding of pepper, and, if you like it, a small pinch of red pepper flakes.

Let the tomatoes simmer for a good 15 minutes or so, until well reduced to a saucy consistency. Stir every once in a while, smushing any lumps of tomato.

Add a little sugar to avoid acidity and some basil leaves.

Leave it simmering on very very low heat until you

Versatile fun and delicious.

Make sure you garnish with more basil and a whole load of parmigiano!!!

Always remember to have fun and get creative, whether it’s with your pasta sauce choice, your wine pairing or your new pasta jewlerry making endevour.

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