Sardinians took the mountains to escape centuries of invaders keen to make the beautiful island their home. To them the sea meant problems and so they moved inland to green pastures and safe and comforting mountains. This isolation and resulting diet is, probably, the reason for the inhabitant’s longevity – in fact, they are second only to Costa Rica in the longevity stakes.
Whilst seafood does play a part in the Sardinian culinary tradition, it is the food derived from the land that is beloved and meat, cheese, bread and pasta it’s backbone. Malloreddus is a small Sardinian ridged pasta, often flavoured with saffron is typically Sardinian and available in most speciality stores nowadays.
Here’s the recipe!
Malloreddus Pasta with Pork Shoulder and Pancetta Sauce
- 500 g malloreddus pasta
- 500 g pork shoulder cut into 1cm cubes
- 75 g pancetta cut into 1cm cubes
- 1 small garlic clove crushed and finely diced
- 125 ml sun-dried tomatoes diced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 375 ml homemade chicken stock you can use the one from the store if you don't have time to make it
- 6 fresh sage leaves chopped
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar good quality
- 125 ml smooth red wine
- 125 g Pecorino Sardo cheese freshly grated
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or to taste
- Sea salt
- black pepper freshly ground
- Mash garlic and pepper into a paste in a pestle and mortar and stir in the vinegar to make a liquid.
- Put the pork and the pancetta in a bowl and toss the pork in the marinade until well mixed, cover it with cling wrap and put in the fridge for 6 hours, turning occasionally to ensure that everything is covered with the marinade.
- Brown the pork and the pancetta in a heavy based saucepan for 5 minutes, add the red wine to deglaze the pan and then add the sun-dried tomatoes, the tomato paste and the sage, add the chicken stock and simmer for about 30 – 40 minutes.
- Boil the malloreddus in plenty of salted water until al dente and toss the pasta in the sauce.
- Check and correct the seasoning and serve with loads of the pecorino cheese and extra olive oil.
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