Traveling around Sardinian towns you will come across a treasure trove of flavour. The variety of pasta that exists in Sardinia is really very important and varied, it is produced with Sardinian durum wheat semolina “trigu lottu, curcusa” and the pasta obtained is of excellent quality. Amongst the best known are: Malloreddus, Fregula Sarda, Maccarronis de Busa, Culurgionis, Tallutzas, Tallarinus and etc….
Lorighittas (“small ears”): a unique type of pasta still today hand made with great patience and skill, consists of artistic fine plaits of pasta, closed in a circle shape, produced only at Morgongiori, a small village in Marmilla. This traditional pasta is handmade using durum wheat semolina water, salt. The process is extremely complicated for example the twists require a braid and running between the fingers all the while keeping the dough from drying out.
In the past, lorighittas were only eaten during holidays, particularly All Saints day. There is also a legend: “Maria pungi pungi” told to children to prevent them from eating too many lorighittas which basically translates to a witch that would come puncture their belly with a skewer to make the lorighittas come out. Traditionally, they are garnished with tomato sauce cooked with free-range cockerel and/or pork or wild boar. Or tomato sauce and seasoned with Sardinian pecorino.
Andarinos: a type of pasta produced in family homes and by some women who work at small pasta-making shops in the commune of Usini. The ingredients to prepare andarinos are Sardinian durum wheat semolina, salt and water. A dough is made and formed into small cylinders of about 1 cm in diameter, which are torn to a length of about 8-10 cm.
They are delicately pressed with one finger for four rotations around a tile or striped glass to form fusili with spiraled ridges on the surface. The pasta is served with a sauce of mixed meats (sheep, lamb, beef and pork) called
su ghisadu, or with a sauce called sa bagna made of fresh tomatoes. Finally, it is topped with some shavings of Pecorino Sardo cheese.
Malloreddus: with a shape like a long empty stick and the back made up of parallel relief, has links to the agro-pastoral world.
In fact, in Sardinian it means calves (“fat like a calf”).
In the manual processing in domestic settings, the shape is obtained by crushing the pasta cubes against a straw basket, su ciuliri (the sieve) or on a wooden base. Made with consisting durum semolina, slightly salted warm water and with the addition, in southern Sardinian tradition, of a pinch of saffron. They are most commonly served Campidanese-style, dressed with a tomato and fresh sausage sauce, and sprinkled with a generous dose of grated pecorino.
Panadas: produced in the municipalities of Oschiri, Berchidda, Cuglieri and Pattada. Panadas are savoury pies baked in the oven, of varying sizes depending on their place of origin.
The fillings consist of lamb or veal and/or pork cooked diced with other seasoning. It is an archaic product known from the time of Peter IV of Aragon (XV century) and served during festivals.
Panada Asseminesa: typical of Assemini town is a dish made of fish. These double-crust pies have mouth-watering fillings of eels, or lamb or green vegetables.
The process involves the preparation of the dough to create two disks: a large one for the base and a smaller one for the cover. Folds are made in the edges to evoke the shape of the saucepan.
Gnoccheeti Sardi (dumplings): spread throughout the Sardinian territory, they are considered by connoisseurs of the traditional local cuisine as the most prestigious traditional dish and later imitated by other regions.They consist of durum wheat semolina and water. The shape is a small, ridged shell.
Is Coccoisi de Casu: made in the municipality of Tonara, these crescent-shaped pastas are golden in colour, with a faint aroma of wild mint and filling of fresh pecorino cheese.
The dough is cut into logs and rolled out up to obtain a sheet of 1 cm thick. The edges are sealed with the serrated wheel and the whole hing fried in hot oil.
Piera Carboni, Hotel Belvedere – Tonara
Su filindeu: an ancient dry pasta from the Barbagia region, which only few women are still able to make by hand, is made by rolling out the pasta in very thin strips which are left to dry in the sun in criss-crossed layers, almost forming a woven pattern.
Filindeu is used to prepare a special soup made with sheep broth enriched with fresh acidified cheese.
Fregula Sarda (‘small fragment crumb’): typical of the south of the island but made throughout Sardinia, (similar to African couscous).
Traditionally it is prepared by hand, in a characteristic terracotta bowl “sa scivedda”, mixing and working with the fingertips large-grain semolina and water and forming small spheres which are left to dry in the open, quickly baked in the oven and then used as an ingredient in delicious stews and braised dishes.
Busa or maccarones de Busa: a homemade pasta of durum wheat bran (the main ingredient of most Sardinian pastas). Similar to bucatini and bucatoni. The dough is rolled on a knitting needle and the needle is pulled out and the pasta left to dry. Cooked in stock, they are served with meat, grated pecorino and rich tomato sauce.
Puligioni: Bruglioni , Pulicioni, Buldzoni (Sweet ravioli): the sweet ravioli is made all over the island for families and festivals but are typically from Gallura region.
It is made with durum wheat flour (trigu Saldu or ruiu) which is hard wheat but slightly smaller, salt and hot water. For the filling we use fresh ricotta, one or two eggs for each mixture, parsley salt and sugar.
Tallarinusu: produced in Marmilla region, and in particular in Nuragus and Siris town. It is obtained from a dough of semolina, flour, water and salt. The sheet rolled up to the diameter of 2 cm, is cut into segments of length equal to 0.5 or 1 cm.
Once dried smaller cuts are used in the preparation of soups, while the larger sized are consumed as pasta and served with a sauce of pork or roaster.
Culurgionis: a typical ravioli made with bran and filled with pecorino cheese, chard, ricotta, egg and saffron. The filling is rolled in balls and placed in the dough which is cut into squares or circles.
In other regions like Barbagia and Ogliastra they are filled with fresh or semi-mature pecorino cheese, animal fats, garlic, olio EVO, mashed potatoes and mint with their typical shape.
Li Chiusoni: made throughout the whole region and in particular in Gallura. This type of pasta is seasoned with a special sauce made with tomato and partridges.
The pasta is shaped like small cylinders of 3-4 cm with an irregular and rough surface. The ingredients are hard wheat flour (Trigu Saldu) and plenty of boiling hot water.
Pasta is a famously traditional product made from durum wheat and a staple of Sardinian cuisine. In addition to the pasta described, most of Sardinian towns have their own typical pasta such as: Gravellus of Oristanese, Caombasa from the Marmilla region. It is a fresh pasta, handmade, usually during the Easter festivities. Laddedos of Baunei, Maccarones de Palineddu of Villagrande Strisaili, Zappuleddusu of Gibba, Spizzulus of Orroli, Lilleddas of Medio Campidano, Sos Pipiriolos of Montresca, Maccarrones de Poddighe of Lode’ and Sos Cannisones of Barigadu, Catalufasa of Sardara just to mention few.
A D’Accabbai che maccarronis senz’e casu
When one is left with a handful of flies in his hand.