Gnocchi sardi with sausages and tomato

Malloreddus alla Campidanese

Back to basics with ‘Malloreddus’ using semola rimacinata – di grano durno (semolina flour) and hot water. Such a pleasing pasta to make by hand. Delicate shells with a ridged rigate exterior which is simply sublime for catching the sauce. This is one pasta shape I adore making with my children, a ball of dough and wooden gnocchi board or butter pats are all you need along with a little patience. A traditional recipe paired with the finest Italian sausages and tomatoes. Hungry yet?


Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Serves: 4

400g Malloreddus (How to make fresh Malloreddus on page (000) or use Gnoccheti sardi

4 tbsp. olive oil

1 large onion, peeled, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed

1 small spring rosemary, finely chopped

500g Italian sausage, casings removed, roughly chopped

2 x 400g tinned plum tomatoes

1 tbsp. tomato puree

Small pinch of saffron

Large bunch of basil, roughly torn

Salt and pepper to season

90g Sardinian pecorino, grated

  1. Place a large pan of water on to boil for the Malloreddus, salting the water well once boiling.
  2. Pour the oil into a large sauté pan and add the chopped onion and garlic. Fry gently on a medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon for 5 minutes until soft and translucent.
  3. Sprinkle in the rosemary and tumble in the sausages (without casings) and stir, break up the sausage a little with the back of your wooden spoon. Cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Pour in the tinned tomatoes and break them up gently with the wooden spoon. Squeeze in the tomato puree and add the saffron and stock.
  5. Stir and add the basil and season with salt and pepper. Cook for a further 25 minutes over a medium heat.
  6. Cook the Malloreddus until aldente.
  7. Drain and tumble the Malloreddus into the sauce and add a small ladle of pasta water if required.
  8. Taste and season. Stir well. Ladle into warm bowls with a generous scattering of grated Sardinian pecorino.

Carmela’s tips: If you have any spare parmesan or pecorino rinds in your fridge, add one into the sauce for the last 25 minutes of cooking. For a gluten free version, combine 800g mashed potato with 100g chestnut flour, 1 egg and a pinch of salt. Combine and roll into long this sausages, cut into 2cm pieces and roll down a gnocchi board.