I’ve been really into roasted vegetables lately, and I’m still not over them. Today I’m taking things up a notch by adding pasta. Although I had to make it with linguine (more on that later), I’m giving this Tuscan Pici Pasta all’Etrusca with Roasted Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes a try. I think my recent recipes have firmly established my love of roasted vegetables, but who doesn’t like pasta? I love the stuff! I’m betting combining the aforementioned roasted veg with noodles, fresh herbs, and parmesan is incredible. Let’s find out!
A delicious pesto pasta type recipe from Tuscany with roasted fresh asparagus and cherry tomatoes.
I was all set to make this recipe, and most of the ingredients were easy to find at my regular grocery store. I was delighted when I actually found cherry tomatoes since they usually only stock grape tomatoes. Things were going well until I tried to find the pasta/
Apparently, pici (pronounced like “peachy”) pasta is hard to find in my area. No, it’s impossible. I couldn’t find it anywhere! I tried several nearby grocery store chains and even the local Italian market. There was no pici pasta to be found.
But I wasn’t about to be defeated. The recipe does mention making it, and I found a simple pici pasta recipe that looked like something I handle without any special pasta-making equipment. All I needed to find was the 00 pasta flour. Well, just like the pici, the flour was not to be found locally.
The only 00 flour I could find was for pizza dough (a.k.a. Tipo 00 flour). According to pasta manufacturer Pasta Nostra, this Tipo 00 flour isn’t suitable for making pasta without eggs due to its low protein content. Pici pasta is eggless, so pizza dough flour was a no-go.
When I can’t find it locally, I turn to Amazon. Although they did have packaged pici pasta, the cheapest I could find was $18 for a 17.5-ounce package. I also searched for the 00 pasta flour and it was pricey at $10 and up. Restaurant prices for something I have to cook? Nope! In the end, I went with the author’s notes and used packaged linguine.
Hard-boiling eggs is the first step of this recipe. I debated on whether or not to use previously cooked eggs and decided against it. I wanted to see how long the entire recipe took if I made it all at once.
My little egg cooker was a big help! I got the eggs started in moments and also prepared a small bowl of ice water. Once the egg cooker’s timer went off, I used my trusty tongs to safely transfer the hot eggs to the ice bath so they would cool quickly.
Meanwhile, I put a large pot of salted water on the stove to boil, preheated the oven to 355℉, and began prepping the vegetables. Stemming the asparagus and herbs was quick, but peeling the garlic took some patience in order to keep the cloves whole.
Once I snapped a quick photo for you, I got to making the sauce. And during all of this, I added the linguine to the boiling water and peeled and cut up the cooled eggs. This was a very active recipe!
But back to the sauce. The quantity of herbs is by the handful, which gives you some leeway. Also, the cheese needs to be weighed and the quantity of olive oil isn’t given. Not that I’m complaining (I like these types of recipes), but some people find them difficult. Here’s how much I used:
- 4 sprigs of basil
- 5 sprigs of parsley
- 2 sprigs of mint
- a generous 1/2 cup of grated parmesan
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil (added 2 T. at a time)
A few pulses in the blender, a dash of extra olive oil, and the sauce was done. Another 4 tablespoons of pasta water helped me finish things up. The pasta was ready by this time, so I mixed it in with the sauce.
The vegetables were done just after that. I decided to serve my Tuscan Pici Pasta all’Etrusca in shallow pasta bowls topped with the roasted vegetables, egg yolk, parmesan, and fresh parsley.
I prepped and cooked this recipe all at the same time because it had so many different parts (pasta, eggs, sauce, roasted veggies). I didn’t break down the times because of that, but I had everything done in 46 minutes. It only took me 1 minute more than the time listed, and I’m calling that accurate.