While restaurants here in the UK are excitingly beginning to open their doors back up again and we’re all getting used to a new kind of normal, for those of us who are still anxious about eating out or you’re simply still enjoying this time out, I thought I’d try my hand at recreating one of my all time favourite London dishes.
Enter Padella’s famous Pici cacio e pepe. Yes, I know, ANOTHER pasta dish during lockdown. But if you’ve been lucky, or rather patient enough to stand in line at London’s most sought after fresh pasta restaurant, you’ll know their pici is no joke. Creamy, buttery, peppery and packed with flavour — this iconic dish, believe it or not, is pretty easy to make at home. (Added bonus/warning: Your arms will get a serious workout from rolling the pici!) So, if you’re after some serious comfort food, look no further.
Serves: 4 portions
Time: 1hr 20min for prepping Pici dough, 20 minutes for cooking.
2. Add the water, olive oil and salt into the well, and using your hands, mix together until a dough starts to form.
3. If your dough isn’t coming together, add a tiny bit more water.
4. Once your dough forms, transfer to a clean flat surface and start kneading it until it becomes completely smooth and resembles playdough.
5. Using a rolling pin, roll it out roughly into a rectangle about 2cm thick. Wrap your rolled out dough in cling film and transfer to fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
6. Remove your dough from the fridge and cut into 9 even sections. Within those 9 sections, then cut strips about 2cm wide. Whilst cutting, keep any unused dough covered with a damp tea towel.
7. On a large dry chopping board, start rolling the strip outwards, using both palms of your hands, applying pressure evenly and pushing outwards, until you have a noodle the same thickness as a pencil.
8. After each pici formation, transfer to a large rectangular dish covered in flour. Once you have a full layer of pici in the dish, cover with flour again and layer another round of pici ontop and so on.
9. Repeat until all the dough is used up.
10. You can now either cook the pici straight away, or you can cover your dish with cling film, keep in the fridge and cook the next day.
2. Remove your pici dough from your dish, shake off the excess dough and drop the pici in the water, cooking for 5-6 minutes on a medium high heat.
3. Meanwhile, in your large saucepan on a medium high heat, add the butter, black pepper, lemon juice & 2 ladles full of pici water and then turn down to a low heat until they melt into each other.
4. From the pot which is cooking your pici, remove a mug full of water and keep to one side.
5. When the pici is cooked, drain it using a colander and then add your cooked pici to the saucepan with your butter and pepper.
6. Pour in your mug full of pici water to the saucepan.
7. Add the parmesan to the saucepan but do not stir, leaving it to melt for a few minutes untouched.
8. Once the parmesan has melted, stir the pici & sauce together. Add some salt to season.
Serve and enjoy!