Here is an easy two course Sardinian meal with a delicious dessert!
Penne with pumpkin and rosemary
This extremely quick pasta dish uses ”Croccoriga”, pumpkin is a popular ingredient of the region cooked in a variety of different ways and often used as a filling in the “culurgionis”, the Sardinian ravioli. The pumpkin is celebrated in September in Ussassai, a small village in the Nuoro province. Rosemary is by far the one of the most distinguishing herbs of Sardinia… its abundant bushes even adorn condominiums in Cagliari!
Preparation time: 10 min
Cooking time: 10 min
320 g/ 11 oz penne pasta
600 g/ 21 oz pumpkin;
1 Small onion;
A sprig of rosemary
80g/ 3 ½ oz of smoky bacon
4 Spoons of extra virgin olive oil
Put the water to boil in a pan. Meanwhile, peel the pumpkin, eliminate the seeds and cut into squares. Chop the onion with the bacon and the rosemary. Place the chopped ingredients in a pan with the olive oil and sizzle for 5 min, add the pumpkin and salt. Add two spoons of water, cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes( the pumpkin has to become soft: try it). When cooked, squash the pumpkin mixture witha fork. In the meantime, add salt to the pan of boiling water and throw in the pasta and cook for 8 min. Drain the pasta, add it to the pumpkin sauce and mix together over a low heat for a minute adding the grated parmesan and a touch of parsley if you wish.
Pork fillet with asparagus points
Pork in Sardinia is very popular, particularly the roast suckling pig which is a real speciality of the region. Asparagus is easy to find and picked frequently in the island’s marvellous vegetation. This easy recipe combines a variety of flavours which blend together beautifully.
Preparation time: 10 min
Cooking time: 20 min
750 g/25 oz pork fillet
200 g/ 7 oz cream
400 g/14 oz asparagus
100 g/ 3 1/2 oz butter or 5 tbsp of olive oil
1 onion chopped
4 slices of bread
1 cup of stock
1 cup of dry white wine
Wash the asparagus and eliminate the hard stalks. Melt half of the of butter in a pan with 1/2 of the chopped onion; add the asparagus points and sizzle for a minute. Pour in the stock and leave to simmer for 5 min, adding the cream and salt.
In a separate non stick pan cook the other ½ chopped onion with the remaining butter. Cut the pork fillet into 2 cm thick slices, place them in the non stick pan with the onion and brown on both sides. Half way through, add the wine and salt and continue to simmer on a low heat. Add the cream and the asparagus mixture and simmer for another 5 minutes.
Serve hot with a few slices of toasted bread.
Mangetout salad with honey, nuts and pecorino cheese.
Pecorino cheese is delicious and gives that particular Sardinian touch to the mangetout salad!
Preparation time: 5 min
cooking time: 8 min
500g/18 oz Mangetout peas
2 Spoons of honey
80 g/ 3 oz Pecorino cheese
A clove of garlic
A small onion
A table spoon of olive oil
Boil water aromatised with the peeled onion and garlic clove. Cut ends off the mangetouts and eliminate any possible strings, wash and place in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain the mangetouts and flavour in a pan with the olive oil for 3- 4 minutes.
Grate and add the nutmeg, take off the heat, add the honey and sprinkle with the nuts and pecorino cheese cut into flakes . Salt and pepper to taste.
“Bianchittos” almond meringues
Almonds are found in most Sardinian cakes and sweets, this is a simple yet yummy recipe that will be enjoyed by all.
preparation time: 5 min
cooking time: 30 min
200 gr/ 7 oz ground almonds
200 gr/ 7 oz of caster sugar
Grated peel of 1 orange or lemon
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon of baking powder
Two baking trays greased and lined
Preheat oven to 160 degrees/ Gas mark 3
Whisk the egg whites until white and stiff. Fold in the sugar, baking powder, orange peel and ground almonds until the mixture is smooth.
Place the mixture into separate spoonfuls on the baking trays, making sure there is a distance between the blobs as they will spread while cooking. Place in oven and bake for 30 min.
Serve with cream or fromage frais, with fruit or simply on their own with a glass of sweet dessert wine.