Home-made pici with Italian sausage and courgette

Serves: 4
Course: Lunch, dinner
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Prep Time: 30 mins
  • 175g semolina flour
  • 175g 00 flour or plain flour
  • 175ml warm water
  • 1.5tsp fine salt
  • 1tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 Italian sausages, or use herb and garlic sausages
  • 1 courgette, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 300g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 burrata
  • 2tbs fresh basil or oregano
  1. Mix the semolina and flour together in a bowl along with the salt. Add the warm water and olive oil. Use your hand to bring it together into a dry craggy ball. Keep mixing and kneading the dough, then tip on to the worktop.
  2. Knead the dough for six to seven minutes until it becomes smooth. Shape it into a smooth ball then cover with the upturned bowl and leave to rest for an hour. You could also store it in the fridge for a few hours if you’re not using it straight away.
  3. To make the sauce, remove the casings from the sausage. Divide each sausage into about six little meatballs. Add them to a large hot pan and sear on each side. You may need to add a little olive oil, depending on how fatty they are. Add the sliced courgettes and tomatoes. Stir well and place the lid on. Leave to cook for five minutes, then stir well and cook for another five. The courgette will wilt and tomatoes burst. Taste for seasoning, set aside and keep warm.
  4. When ready to shape the pasta, cut the dough ball in half. Cover one half and roll the other half into a rectangle on to a very lightly floured surface until a quarter-inch thick. Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut into long half-inch-wide strips.
  5. Use your hands to roll each strip into a smooth rounded snake, rolling it on the countertop, spreading your fingers wide. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  6. Keep in mind the dough will swell while cooking. Toss the shaped pici in semolina and try to keep them in their long shape and not curled into nests.
  7. Boil a large pan of salted water and cook the pici for four to five minutes or so. Taste a piece to test for doneness. Drain and tip into the pan with the tomatoes and sausage. Gently mix together so the sauce coats the pasta.
  8. Serve right away in a large serving bowl with the burrata placed in the centre. Drizzle with olive oil and herbs. To serve, break the burrata and gently combine it into the sauce before dividing between the bowls, making sure everyone gets some of the creamy cheese.
Lilly Higgins

Lilly Higgins

Lilly Higgins, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a food writer