Good folk of Bishop Auckland and County Durham, very sad not to be at your food festival this year, please find below my recipe for Pici and Mortadella. It’s one of mine and Meri’s favourite comfort dishes. If you can’t find any mortadella, I dare say a bit of spam or corned beef wouldn’t harm!
This dish is a simple plate of handmade Pici pasta, a little butter, thyme, finely chopped mortadella, pecorino and a little honey to cut through this thick, fatty mantle that coats the fresh pasta. Pici may seem like a weird choice for the sauce as the mortadella has very little chance of getting a firm hold onto the dough, but the rather nice thing is that each strand is coated in a delicate emulsion of butter infused with the earthy mortadella and accompanying flavours. What you are left with at the end is a satisfying little pile of buttery meat that slaps you round the face.
For the dead simple pasta part:
150g 00 flour
150g fine semolina (optional, but will give your pasta more bite)
180g egg yolk (save the whites for meringues or rocky style gym fuel)
For the sauce/emulsion
20 Pistachio, shelled and crushed as fine as you can be bothered (30 to make up for the 10 you will invariably eat)
2 Sprigs of fresh thyme
1 Tablespoon of honey
30g good breadcrumbs (avoid the day glow fish finger kind)
10g of butter
Half and onion
A little finely chopped mortadella
1/3rd of a block of pecorino cheese (or any hard-Italian cheese)
YOU WANT TO MAKE A DOUGH SIMILAR IN LOOK AND FEEL TO PLAYDOUGH