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Sardinian Gnocchetti – Malloreddus with Aged Salt Cured Sausage

Gnocchi is a pure comfort food. In Italy there is even a tradition of eating gnocchi instead of regular pasta on Sundays. But today’s recipe is not about potato gnocchi a lot of you know about.

Sardinian gnocchetti, also called malloreddus do not use potatoes at all. Instead, they are made with semolina or durum wheat flour which are responsible for their wonderful sturdy, glutinous texture.

Gnocchetti Sardi are much smaller than regular gnocchi but still preserve shell like shape. Because of external streaks and inner cavity they become rich and perfectly flavored with the sauce.

Traditionally they are one of the main pasta dishes in Sardinia during, festivals, national celebrations and weddings (which Italian is certainly famous for).

Malloreddus – this is how they’re called is Sardinia, which literary means – gnocchi.

But depending on the region of Sardinia they also called cigiones or ciciones in North West of Sardinia,  macarones caidos or cravaos in the mountainous Central parts.

Molloreddus also come in a few different versions of the same shell like shape: short and thick (if fact, these are THE best type of gnocchetti sardi to use for this particular recipe), or slightly thinner and elongated (as you see from the picture below).

Without a doubt, it’s hard or close to impossible to get them at a grocery store. But you definitely get all kind of malloreddus at local Sardinian stores, or order them from Amazon.

There is a lot of ways to make gnocchetti sardi: with saffron and pecorino cheese, with muscles, with ricotta but the most traditional and my personal favorite is malloreddus with piquant ragù sauce. Again recipe slightly differs depending on the region of Sardinia. In the south for example, the dish is called malloreddus alla campidanese, which is very similar to the one I’m presenting today, but instead of myrtle leaves or bay leaves they use saffron and basil.

This recipe is from my mother-in-law Teresa, who made me fall in love with this amazing truly sardinian pasta once and fore all. And since she’s from North East of Sardinia, region called Gallura, we’ll call them Gnocchetti Sardi alla Gallurese.

Sardinian Gnocchetti Malloreddus - Ingredients

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

12 oz gnocchetti sardi (malloreddus)

6 oz sausage (preferably aged) or ground meat (pork, beef or mix)

12 oz canned tomatoes, diced

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 pinch of chilli flakes

Handful of myrtle leaves (if not available substitute with 1 bay leaf)

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Pecorino Cheese, grated

Salt to taste

Preparation:

Sardinian Gnocchetti Malloreddus Recipe- Step 1-2

Step 1: Place a large skillet pan over medium heat, add olive oil and finely chopped shallot. Saute for a minutes or two, add diced sausage or ground meat. Cook for another 2  minutes until sausage fat starts to melt. If you’re using ground meat make sure to break it down into small bits as it cooks.

Add canned tomatoes, lower the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes

Step 2: Add myrtle leaves or a bay leaf and continue to cook until the sauce thickens. Add a pinch of salt to taste.

Sardinian Gnocchetti Malloreddus - Step 3

Step 3: While the sauce is cooking bring pasta to boil. Pasta meaning gnocchetti sardi, of course 🙂 Cook according to the direction on the package, until al dente.

Drain pasta, leaving ½ cup of cooking liquid.

Toss and turn gnocchetti in the pan with the sauce. Add a bit of cooking liquid if pasta feels too dry.

Turn off the heat sprinkle with freshly grated Pecordino (worst case parmesan) cheese. Serve immediately adding some more precorino cheese to individual servings.

One of a kind Sardinian Pasta - Gnocchetti - Sardi with Piquant Ragu Sauce #yum#yum

Sardinian Gnocchetti - Malloreddus with Aged Salt Cured Sausage

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 12 oz gnocchetti sardi malloreddus
  • 6 oz sausage preferably aged or ground meat (pork, beef or mix)
  • 12 oz canned tomatoes diced
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 1 pinch of chili flakes
  • Handful of myrtle leaves if not available substitute with 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Pecorino Cheese grated
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  • Place a large skillet pan over medium heat, add olive oil and finely chopped shallot. Saute for a minutes or two, add diced sausage or ground meat. Cook for another 2 minutes until sausage fat starts to melt. If you’re using ground meat make sure to break it down into small bits as it cooks.
  • Add canned tomatoes, lower the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes. Add myrtle leaves or a bay leaf and continue to cook until the sauce thickens. Add a pinch of salt to taste.
  • While the sauce is cooking bring pasta to boil. Pasta meaning gnocchetti sardi, of course 🙂 Cook according to the direction on the package, until al dente.
  • Drain pasta, leaving ½ cup of cooking liquid.
  • Toss and turn gnocchetti in the pan with the sauce. Add a bit of cooking liquid if pasta feels too dry.
  • Turn off the heat sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan or Pecordino cheese. Serve immediately adding some more Pecorino cheese to individual servings.

The best way to enjoy Malloreddus is of course, with red Sardinian wine – Cannonau di Sardegna or Carignano del Sulcis.

Enjoy!

 

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