Pici all’aglione

Pici all’aglione is a simple and delicious dish characteristic of Tuscan cuisine. This dish is emblematic of the Tuscan peasant tradition, and it can easily be prepared at home. 

What are Pici pasta?

But what is Pici? The pici pasta, also known as Tuscan spaghetti, is a thick and long pasta made of flour and water that makes for a great first if you would like to start making your own pasta

It is common in southern Tuscany, more specifically in Val d’Orcia, Val di Chiana, Monte Amiata, and the province of Arezzo up to the province of Viterbo, where they are called “umbrichelli”. They are “pinci” in Montalcino, and “picciarelli” in Maremma.

The history of the Pici all’Aglione

Tradition traces the Pici back to the Etruscan era, where we find evidence of Pici in the very famous “Tomb of the leopards” in Tarquinia. It is thought that the name derives from Marco Gavio Apicius, gastronome of the Roman era and author of the culinary compendium “De re coquinaria,” the art of cooking.

The origins of the name probably come from the type of procedure that is carried out by mixing flour and water by hand, sticking them between each other, joining them together and mixing the whole thing together. Once the dough is made, strips are cut, and these are rolled one at a time on the pastry board. The result is a roll of pasta that resembles a coarse spaghetti.

pici all aglione ricetta

What is aglione?

The dough for the pici pasta is very simple and versatile. Thus, this pasta can be seasoned in various ways. For example, when making pici all’aglione, a type of garlic is used that is much larger than the traditional one. A single clove can be equivalent to the whole bulb of the common garlic. It is known by the name of “Aglione della Valdichiana,” and in the nineteenth-century, botanical books referred to this garlic as “serpentine or tambourine” garlic, and described it  as “much thicker and less sharp in flavor.” It has been cultivated and produced in Tuscany for centuries.

aglione - Tuscan garlic

Now let’s dive in the pici all’aglione recipe.

pici all aglione ricetta


Pici all’aglione

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This fresh pasta recipe traditional from Tuscany uses a particular type of garlic, aglione, and it's combined with fresh tomatoes and chili pepper.
Course Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Keyword aglione, fresh pasta, pici
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 258kcal
Author Nonna Box


Ingredients for Pici

Ingredients for the sauce


To prepare the pici

  • Pour the flour into a big baking bowl and make a hole in the center.
  • Pour in the oil and then the water, mixing first with a fork and then by hand.
  • When the dough has compacted, continue to work it vigorously on the work surface until it is smooth and homogeneous.
  • Wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 30 minutes before proceeding.
  • Roll out the dough with a traditional rolling pin up to one centimeter thick.
  • Then cut it into strips not too large and work each of them with your hands, forming loaves of even thickness.

To prepare the sauce

  • Immerse the tomatoes for a few minutes in a pot with boiling water after which remove them, let them cool for a few moments and peel them. Then cut the chilli in half and chop it with a knife after cleaning it from the seeds.
  • At this point, using a garlic press, crush the garlic cloves without removing the peel. If you do not have a garlic press available, cut the garlic into thin slices and then crush them with the blade of the knife until you get a cream.
  • Pour the extra virgin olive oil into a pan to melt the crushed garlic over a very low heat, then add the chilli, adding a spoonful of warm water.
  • Peel the tomatoes, cut them into cubes, and clean them from the seeds. Then, using a large pan, pour the oil with the garlic and the tomatoes into it, letting it cook until you get a cream.
  • Enhance the flavor by adding a spoonful of white vinegar, salt, and a pinch of sugar to obtain a sweet and sour taste.

To cook the pici

  • In a big pot, bring water to boil and add salt. Cook the pici for 8-10 minutes.
  • Drain the pici and season with your sauce. Serve hot.


Serving: 150g | Calories: 258kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 23mg | Potassium: 523mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1565IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 3mg

Source: Pici all’aglione