Spinach pici pasta

January 2022


  • 200g baby spinach
  • 300g Tipo 00 or plain flour , plus extra for dusting
  • olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • ½ teaspoon dried red chilli flakes
  • 200g baby courgettes
  • 320g ripe cherry tomatoes , on the vine
  • 50g pine nuts
  • ½ a bunch of fresh basil , (15g)
  • 50g Parmesan cheese
  • extra virgin olive oil


  1. In a food processor, blitz the spinach and flour until a ball of dough forms, letting the machine do all the work. Touch the dough – it shouldn’t be sticky, you want a playdough consistency, so add a little more flour, if needed.
  2. To make the pici, simply tear off 2cm balls of dough and roll them out into long thin sausage shapes – think fine green beans – on a clean surface (the beauty is that they’re all different, so get little helpers involved, if you can).
  3. Cook the pici straight away, or leave them to dry out for a few hours, or even overnight.
  4. Put a large pan of salted water on to boil. Put a large frying pan on a medium heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Peel, finely slice and add the garlic, along with the chilli flakes.
  5. Finely slice and add the courgettes, then halve and add the tomatoes. Cook it all for 5 minutes, then stir in the pine nuts and add a ladleful of boiling water. Leave on the lowest heat while you cook the pasta.
  6. Add the pici to your pan of boiling salted water. If it’s freshly rolled it will only need about 5 minutes, but if you’ve let it dry give it 8 to 10 minutes, checking on it to make sure you get lovely al dente pasta.
  7. Drain, reserving a mugful of cooking water, then toss through the veg.
  8. Reserving the baby basil leaves, finely slice the bigger ones and stir into the pan with most of the finely grated Parmesan, loosening with a little reserved water, if needed.
  9. Divide between your warm plates and serve with a few drips of extra virgin olive oil, with the remaining Parmesan and the baby basil leaves sprinkled over.