Cuisine of the 20 Regions of Italy

Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean, a little smaller than Sicily. But, Sardinia is the fourth least populated region in all of Italy, with well under 2 million inhabitants. It is 200 kilometers from mainland Italy.

Meat, cheese, and pasta are the most prominent staples in the diet, though seafood is not as popular here as in other coastal regions. Sardinia has 1,800 kilometers of magnificent coastlines, pure white sands,hidden coves and grottos, picturesque cliffs and the bluest of sea and sky

Malloreddus del Pastore
Malloreddus are a small, oblong, grooved Sardinian pasta reminiscent of gnocchi. They are made of semolina flour and water (at times a bit of saffron is added), and take longer than most dried pastas to cook; 15 to 20 minutes is the norm. If you can’t find malloreddus (they are also called gnocchetti sardi), or Sardinian gnocchi, opt for cavatelli (pictured here) instead.

Sardinian Pasta with Sausage and Ricotta

Ingredients: Preparation
  • 1 pound malloreddus
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • ¾ pound whole-milk Ricotta
  • ½ cup freshly grated Pecorino Sardo (Sardinian Pecorino; Pecorino Romano can be substituted)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ pound spicy sausage, casings removed and crumbled
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Bring 5 quarts of water to a boil. Add the malloreddus and salt, and cook until al dente; drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.

Meanwhile, beat the Ricotta, Pecorino, and pepper until smooth in a bowl.

Cook the sausage in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until browned lightly and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook 30 seconds.

Fold in the malloreddus, reserved pasta cooking water, and Ricotta mixture; cook 30 seconds over medium-high heat, stirring to coat evenly. Serve hot, drizzled with the olive oil. Serves 6

Seadas (Traditional Sardinian Fritter)
The Seadas, also called Sebadas, are one of the most famous Sardinian desserts. Originally considered a second course, they are a typical dish of sheepherding communities. In the past, in fact, women would dress up and serve them to their husbands when in spring then would return home with their sheep after the long period spent out in the Sardinian pastures.

This Sardinian sweet, famous throughout the world, pairs divinely the sweetness of the honey with the saltiness of the pecorino cheese, making for an intriguing and intense flavor.

Ingredients: Preparation:
  • Ÿ  1 lb all-purpose flour
  • Ÿ  3 eggs
  • Ÿ  7 oz water
  • Ÿ  salt to taste
  • Ÿ  lemon zest, grated
  • Ÿ  honey to taste
  • Ÿ  1 lb Pecorino cheese
  • Ÿ  1 ¾ oz butter
Make a well in the center of the semolina, put the egg and water with salt into it and mix with the hands for at least 15 minutes.

Gradually incorporate the butter (or, if you prefer, you can substitute butter with an equal amount of lard, as called for in the traditional recipe) and continue blending until the dough is smooth and firm.

Make a ball of the dough and leave to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge.

Roll the dough to a thickness of 0.1 inch.

Cut the dough using a circular pastry cutter with a curly edge of 4 inches in diameter. Brush the circles of dough with the egg and fill them with the Sardinian sheep’s milk cheese.

Close using other disks of dough and fry them in abundant oil.

After frying, sprinkle with honey and sugar.

In order to keep the seadas from opening and losing their filling during cooking, seal the edges well by brushing one of the two disks with egg white. Fry in a generous amount of oil and drain off any excess oil from the fritter.

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