Tuscan Pici Pasta
4 cups all-purpose flour
5 large eggs
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon for brushing dough
1/4 cup coarsely ground cornmeal
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino-Romano
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons thinly sliced basil
Tomato and Artichoke Sauce, recipe follows
Place flour on a clean work surface, forming a well in the center. Add eggs to center of well; beat with a fork. Add 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup water, and salt. Use your hands to slowly mix the flour into the liquid. When dough forms and comes together, lift it out of remaining flour on the work surface using a bench scraper. Sift flour on work surface; set aside. Knead dough for 2 to 3 minutes, adding a little more flour if necessary to prevent sticking.
Brush top of dough with remaining teaspoon olive oil to prevent skin from forming, and cover with an inverted bowl. Let rest for 30 minutes.
Sprinkle two baking sheets or platters with cornmeal. Divide dough into 8pieces. Lightly flour a work surface with a little of the reserved flour, and roll out or pat 1 piece of dough into a rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Cut dough crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Transfer dough to a clean surface, and using your hands, roll each strip into a strand of spaghetti. Place on prepared baking sheets or platters. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt. Cook pasta until al dente, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain, and toss with 2 tablespoons cheese. Stir parsley and basil into sauce. Add pasta to sauce, and gently toss to coat. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese.
Tomato and Artichoke Sauce:
1 lemon, halved
4 large, fresh artichoke hearts, thinly sliced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
1 tablespoon roughly chopped parsley
2 tablespoons finely julienned basil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Italian dry vermouth
5 tablespoons tomato sauce, preferably homemade
1/2 cup Homemade Chicken Stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth, recipe follows
Squeeze juice from lemon into bowl of ice water; add lemon halves and artichoke hearts while preparing the rest.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add oil, garlic, and salt. Stir in red-pepper flakes, parsley, basil, salt, and black pepper, and saute, stirring for 5 minutes. Add vermouth, and cook for 2 minutes. Add tomato sauce and chicken stock. Cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings
Homemade Chicken Stock:
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
6 sprigs fresh dill or 2 teaspoons dried dill
6 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 dried bay leaves
2 leeks, washed, white and pale-green parts only, cut into 1/3
2 carrots, scrubbed, cut into 1/3
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/3
1 (4-pound) chicken, cut into 6 pieces
1 1/2 pounds chicken wings
1 1/2 pounds chicken backs
2 (48-ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth, about 12 cups
6 cups cold water
Place peppercorns, dill, parsley, bay leaves, leeks, carrots, celery, chicken, wings, and backs into a large stockpot. Add stock and 6 cups cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a very gentle simmer, and cook for 45 minutes. Liquid should just bubble up to the surface. A skin will form on the surface of the liquid; skim this off with a slotted spoon, and discard. Repeat as needed. After 45 minutes, remove chicken from the pot, and set aside until it is cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones, set the meat aside, and return the bones to the pot. Shred the chicken, and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use. Continue to simmer the stock, on the lowest heat possible, for 3 hours, skimming as needed. The chicken bones will begin to disintegrate. Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a very large bowl. Discard the solids. Place the bowl in an ice bath, and let cool to room temperature. Transfer to airtight containers. Stock may be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 4 months. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight. If storing, leave fat layer intact to the seal the stock. Before using, remove the layer of fat that has collected on the surface.