In our opinion these are the 10 Sardinian top dishes which you should definetely taste during your visit in Sardinia:
1. Seafood Fregola with saffron
Fregola, which means breadcrumbs, is a typical sardinian pasta made of semolina and rolled into small balls. There are plenty of recipes for cooking fregola but the most delicious is definitely a seafood fregola: with clams, prawns and served with some saffron broth and a loaf of crunchy bread. Not everyone knows that Sardinia is a major saffron producer in Italy. This wonderful and very precious spice of intense red colour is used in many typical sardinian dishes and is often called “red gold“ of Sardinia as its delicate threads require much time to be collected and dried and the cost of the final product is similar to that of the gold. Moreover, the saffron flower is caracterized by a magnific lilac colour: immagine an entire lilac camp in November when saffron is collected – the beauty of this scenery can not be described with the words. We had honour to have a try of an excellent seafood fregola with sardinian saffron which we collected ourselves during our visit on the farm Azienda Agricola Pilo situated in Ploaghe, near Sassari. I belive that saffron cultivation is a magic endeavour. When you plant the bulbs and see how these marvelous lilac flowers burn with inside red threads which should be collected with maximum of delicacy and extreme patience, and all the following process to obtain very small but precious quantity of saffron. The contact with the land is so strong, that probably it marks your body but at the same time enriches your spirit. The saffron cultivation of Antonio and Chiara is an ancient one, passed on from generation to generation. The quality of their spice is unique as the bulbs have been acclimated in locality Giogante for more than a century. We have brought with us to Bordeaux a reserve of saffron from Ploaghe and have conserved the contacts of Azienda Agricola Pilo very well in order to get every year a part of their small production. Now you too have this exclusive possibility: Azienda Agricola Pilo – Tenute di Giogante – Ploaghe ( SS ), mail: firstname.lastname@example.org – 347 5065774 ( Antonio )
2. Zuppa gallurese
Zuppa gallurese or “zuppa cuata” how someone calls it, is a typical dish of Gallura, the northern region of Sardinia which extends from Badesi to San Teodoro and has the best beaches of Sardinia. The word “zuppa” means soup, but actually it is not a liquid dish, although the broth is used to prepare it. The consistency is similar to that of lasagna. It is a mix of slices of bread (different types of bread can be used), cheese and lamb broth, baked in the oven.
3. Suckling pig or “porcheddu”
This is probably the most famous Sardinian dish. The suckling pig or “porcheddu” must weigh from 4 to maximum 6 kilograms and should be cooked entire with myrtle leaves for some hours and then served on a cork tray.
4. Spaghetti with sea urchin
Those who go mad about raw seafood will fall in love with this dish. The right time to taste this plate is from November till April when the season of “ricci di mare” is open. It is forbidden to take the sea urchins in other periods of the year and it is possible to collect only a limited number of sea urchins per fisherman in order to protect these species.
We advise you to go to Castelsardo or Santa Teresa di Gallura to taste this dish. The perfect wine to accompany spaghetti with sea urchins is Cannonau of Sardinia which emphasizes the intense taste of the sea urchin.
Bottarga is one of the most famous and tasteful delicacies of Sardinia originally coming from Cabras, a small town on the western coast of the island. This dried mullet roe can be tasted in thin slices as a starter or can be used to dress pasta, usually spaghetti o linguine.
Culurgiones is a sardinian first dish arriving from Ogliastra, the wildest part of Sardinia. It is a kind of home-made dumpling pasta stuffed with delicious mint-flavoured potatoe cream. Normally it is served with fresh tomatoe sauce and basil or with butter and sage.
7. Octopus salad
Sardinian octopus salad is usually served as a starter. The main ingredient of this dish is obviouly local octopus which is smaller than a normal octopus and consequently is very delicate. It is usually served with boiled potatoes, celery and is dressed with garlic, parsley, olive oil and lemon.
8. Lamb with artichokes
Lamb with artichokes is a traditional sardinian plate, often cooked during Easter period. It is rather easy to find genuine lamb meat in Sardinia, like fresh artichokes as well, so the freshness of products is garanted. Combined with artichokes the delicious lamb meat is very tasteful. First of all the meat should be stewed for about an hour and then artichokes should be added. We advice to taste this dish with sardinian Vernaccia wine.
9. Catalan style lobster
Catalan style lobster is a typical dish of Alghero, a catalan town on the north-western part of Sardinia. Obviously this precious crustacean is fished in the local sea on the western coast near Alghero. After being boiled, lobster is served as a salad with fresh tomatoes and onion. We recommend to taste it with a white wine like Vermentino di Sardegna.
Seadas or “seada” in sardinian– is a traditional sardinian dessert made of fried pastry filled with delicate lemon-scented cheese and topped either with warm honey or sugar. Normally the cheese used for Seadas is a young Pecorino. We recommend you to choose orange blossom honey or wildflower honey to taste this wonderful dessert.