For the tomato sauce:
1kg organic cherry tomatoes, halved
50ml extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, grated
Salt, sugar, pepper to taste
1 pinch of sweet smoked paprika
For the pici pasta:
200g pasta flour (sold as “00”flour)
1 whole egg
60-70 ml water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
For pasta sauce:
One whole head of garlic
1 quantity cherry tomato sauce
1 quantity pici pasta
Basil, julienned, to taste
Grated Parmesan to taste
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 140 degrees C
Wrap the whole head of garlic in aluminium foil and bake for 45-60 minutes until soft. Cut in half and squeeze out the softened garlic. Set aside.
For the tomato sauce, sweat the grated garlic over low heat in a medium saucepan. Add the tomatoes and cook on medium. Season with salt and sugar to taste, keep on stirring and reduce it begins to thicken. Add a pinch of sweet smoked paprika.
Place all pasta ingredients in a large bowl and mix by hand until a dough forms. Knead for about 10 minutes until smooth. Wrap in cling film and rest for an hour.
Cut the dough into long strips, and, using the palms of both hands, roll out the pici 4mm thick, about 25-30 cm in length. They’ll look like slightly fat spaghetti. Keep the pici dusted with flour or semolina in a tray so they don’t stick to each other.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add salt and drop in the pici. Cook until ready, 6-8 minutes depending on the thickness.
In a large pan, heat the extra virgin olive oil, two tablespoons of baked garlic paste and the cherry tomato sauce. Add the cooked pici, grated Parmesan and basil to taste. Add half a ladleful of the pasta cooking water to add taste and creaminess to the pasta. Serve immediately.