Equidistant from the Italian mainland and the Tunisian coast, Sardinia is, in the words of D.H Lawrence, ‘lost between Europe and Africa and belonging to nowhere’. Although it feels like months, it is just 3 weeks ago that me and my family came back from this beautiful island: stunning beaches, perfect temperature, rough landscape and great food!
One of the fun culinary differences with the mainland is that the locals acquired a taste for saffron. The Arab influence is still noticeable in this delicious local dish: Gnocchetti Sardi with salsa di Pomodoro e Zafferano.
The Gnocchetti get their beautiful shape by rolling the dough over a wooden grid. Opposed to gnocchi it lacks the potato, is smaller in size and the added saffron gives it it’s creamy yellow color and mediterranean punch. You can make them yourself or buy the dried version in the supermarket.
Gnocchetti di Gianni
Add 4 tbsp of olive oil to a stainless pan, gently cook 1 fine chopped onion until tender and translucent. Add the saffron and sauté until fragrant, 30 seconds to one minute. Add 1kg of tinned tomato pieces, salt, pepper and a little sugar, 4 tbsp of olive oil and 4 basil leaves. Simmer over medium heat for about half an hour until it has reduced and is concentrated by about one-third.
cook 450 gram gnocchetti until al dente.
Combine Gnocchetti and sause to taste. Finish it of with fresh Pecorino cheese. Traditionally this dish would be eaten with Sardinian pork sausage, but I like this lighter version served with some fresh bread.
Now just imagine eating this, drinking some sparkling white wine and the above view on the beach…
MAN, I want to go back!
This is the blog of Amsterdam based food photographer Aico Lind.