The origin of the Sunday lunch in Tuscany
Sunday lunch in Tuscany resists all fashions, a ritual to be celebrated in the name of family conviviality and gastronomic tradition. Unbelievable but true, the Sunday lunch menu is more or less the same as 100 years ago the juice doesn’t change much. On Sundays in Tuscany, I like to eat appetisers with croutons and cold cuts, homemade pasta, roast, and dessert, wine, grappa and whims.
Pici all’aglione is a homemade pasta typical of a Sunday lunch in Tuscany and especially in the Val di Chiana area. Pici all’aglione is the first course of the Tuscan tradition. In fact, it is this land that is the cradle of the product belonging to the tradition of the Chiana aglione. A variety of garlic with large dimensions and a less marked flavour, more delicate than other types of garlic. The pasta shape, the pici, is made with a mixture of flour, water, and one egg. Pici can also be seasoned with meat sauce, duck, or crumbs. They are also excellent with cherry tomatoes or fresh tomatoes. The name pici derives from the term “appiciare”. “Appiciare” it is the type of processing necessary to make them. It consists (comprises) of working the dough by hand to create a long spaghetti.
This preparation involves the use of basic ingredients of local cuisine. These ingredients are extra virgin olive oil, garlic (or garlic if you can’t find the variety), and tomatoes that recall the sunny Tuscan countryside. Pici all’aglione is a simple first course to prepare, delicious, genuine and savoury. Paired with a succulent chicken alla cacciatora for a Tuscan-style menu!
To prepare the pici with garlic, you start by blanching the tomatoes in boiling water for 1 minute. Peel them and remove them, then cut them into small cubes. Cut the garlic into small pieces. Place the crushed Aglione in a pan with the oil and the chilli pepper, brown it over very low heat. The sauté must cook slowly and the garlic must not darken but only melt. Leave on the fire for about ten minutes until the aglione has begun to melt (melted). At this point, also incorporate the chopped tomatoes.
Season with salt. Cook the sauce over low heat until the tomatoes are dissolved, getting a creamy sauce (this will take at least 20 minutes). Meanwhile, boil the salted water for the pasta. If the sauce gets too dry, you can add 2/3 ladles of pasta cooking water. When the water boils, immerse the pici. After cooking time, drain them al dente and toss them in the sauce to flavour. Serve the pici all’aglione hot!