These twirlable strands known as pici (pronounced "peachy") are fatter than spaghetti, and are a winning shape for pasta-making beginners and kids. While you play with the dough, the short ribs braise in the oven until they're fall-apart tender and saucy enough to coat the noodles—and melt in your mouth.

Martha Stewart Living, October 2019


Credit: Paola + Murray

Recipe Summary

1 hr 45 mins
4 hrs 45 mins
Serves 6 to 8


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Season short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high. When it shimmers, add ribs in a single layer and cook, flipping once, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. (Brown in two batches, if necessary.)

  • Transfer short ribs to a plate; discard all but 2 tablespoons fat from pot. Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are golden in places, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in cinnamon.

  • Add wine and boil, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot, until mostly evaporated. Stir in tomatoes and broth. Return ribs and any accumulated juices to pot; bring to a boil. Partially cover, transfer to oven, and roast until meat is fork-tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. (Ragu can be refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to 4 months.)

  • On a lightly floured surface, cut pasta dough in half. Roll one piece out to an approximately 4-by-12-inch rectangle (keeping other half wrapped); brush top with oil. Starting from one short end, cut into scant 1/4-inch-wide strips.

  • On a clean surface (preferably a wooden board), roll each strip out to an 18-to-22-inch-long strand with flattened palms (pasta should resemble bucatini or extra-thick spaghetti). Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet dusted with flour (preferably semolina). Repeat with remaining dough.

  • Cook pasta in a large pot of generously salted boiling water until al dente, 4 to 5 minutes. Reserve 1 cup pasta water; drain. Return ragu pot to medium-low heat; remove and discard rosemary. Using two forks, shred meat into bite-size pieces. Add pasta and 1/2 cup pasta water to ragu, tossing to combine.

  • Cook, gently tossing a few more times, and adding more pasta water a little at a time if necessary, until sauce clings evenly to pasta, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer pasta to bowls and garnish with parsley, cheese, and a drizzle of oil before serving.

Cook's Notes

Don't worry too much about making the pici the same length; it's more important to keep the thickness consistent (and remember, they'll expand as they cook). 

The pici can be shaped and frozen on a parchment-lined baking sheet dusted with semolina flour. Once firm, transfer to a resealable bag and freeze up to one month. Boil from frozen, adding two to three minutes to the cooking time.