Homemade Pici

What are Pici and how are they prepared?


Pici is the plural name for a typical homemade pasta from the southern province of Siena, particularly the area between Chiusi, Montepulciano and Mount Cetona. Interestingly in nearby areas  such as Montalcino they are called pinci. This pasta has a form similar to a thick spaghetti, they are made of a wheat flour dough, which is rolled out to a thickness of around 2 cm and cut, these are rolled out (coated with a little olive oil) and with a back-and-forth motion, they are then rounded out. In this way they are gradually thinned and lengthened until they become pici.

What are the ingredients?

  • Wheat flour
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil

A little history on Pici

Most commonly found between Chiusi, Montepulciano and Mount Cetona, this pasta requires strength and patience to create.  It was once of fundamental importance in the diet of peasant families, similar to polenta for Northern Italians. Pici were served with simple and delicious sauces such as garlic with breadcrumbs sautéed in oil, a ragout made from onion and chicken giblets. Or in the area of Lake Chiusi, with pike fish caviar.


Why are they called Pici?

Pici stands for "appiciare," which is precisely the way the dough is rolled out, rubbing and pulling it to create a rustic, irregular, spaghetti-like shape. 

How are Pici cooked?

They are boiled for a few minutes in salted water, drained and seasoned. There is a  different taste between fresh egg pasta and a durum wheat semolina pasta with the latter being slightly chewier.

What are the most commonly used seasonings today?

The quintessential sauce still remains garlic and fresh tomato; then sauces such as meat (especially duck and lamb) with oil and tomato; onion and pancetta; fresh mushroom sauce; Tuscan bread crumbs with oil, garlic and seasoned pecorino.

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