Travelling into creative Sardinian Pasta:
Fregola Sarda and all its alternatives
Fregola Sarda, Culurgiones and Malloreddus? The ultimate guide into the most creative Pasta from Sardinia, perfect both for fish and meat recipes.
Thanks to its position and its diverse landscapes, Sardinia has a wide range of products, from seafood to cured meat and cheese. Its culinary tradition cannot found elsewhere in Italy and Sardinians are, of course, very proud of it and struggle to preserve their traditional food: here is all you need to know about fregola sarda and the secrets behind its famous recipe.
What is fregola sarda, the Italian answer to cous cous
Fregola sarda can be considered as “the Italian answer to the Arabic cous cous”. Indeed, Fregola is a durum wheat pasta very similar to cous cous in regards to shape and preparation, even if the round grains are larger.
This is because after they are formed, the grains are roasted in the oven to give them their golden color. The traditional recipe of fregola sarda is with clams or seafood but it pairs nicely with tomato as well.
The stuffed alternative to Fregola Sarda: Culurgiones
Even if Fregola Sarda is probably the most famous Sardinian pasta, it isn't of course the only one. If you prefer a stuffed pasta, you can go for the Culurgiones - also called Culurgionis - a dumpling-like pasta from the province of Ogliastra, on the East Coast of Sardinia.
Culurgiones were a special kind of pasta prepared and eaten during pagan rituals in order to improve fertility. As the Great Mother generates ears of wheat, women create ears of pasta filled with potatoes, cheese, extra virgin olive oil and herbs like mint.
This fresh, stuffed pasta is still prepared as a main dish to be eaten during celebration days.
Fregola Sarda vs Malloreddus:
how to choose the perfect sardinian pasta
Like the Fregola Sarda, Malloredus are made using just water and semolina. However the latter have a larger size and their shape changes once cooked, becoming similar to an empty shell.
This strange word means "calf" in the Sardinian language, because the shape of the pasta resulting from the ancient method of production vaguely resembled to the small animal.
This short pasta is nowadays produced and eaten all over Italy with the easier name of “Sardinian gnocchi”. The most traditional dressing is a homemade sauce created with tomato, Campidano sausage, and pecorino cheese.
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