Sardinian Seafood Pasta

There are 300 types of pasta made in 200 pasta factories and 3.9 million tons is consumed per year. All made with only 3 ingredients: water, flour, salt. It’s practically a little great miracle that is renewed day after day through different territories and with different traditions which involve the very best craftsmanship and creativity of the Italians. An edible masterpiece that from north to south describes the tastes, habits and lifestyle of an entire country. We also love pasta passionately and put it at the centre of a balanced nutritional food plan. Diet or no diet, as part of a healthy and balanced eating style, pasta should never be eliminated, but rather explored and consumed in its infinite varieties. Taking advantage of the holiday season, today we go to Sardinia to discover a craft product that is worth much more than a souvenir: malloreddus.

The term malloreddu is a diminutive of malloru, which in Sardinian Campidanese dialect means bull. Therefore, malloreddus means little calves. The meaning of the name is to be traced back to the belly shape of these dumplings made of durum wheat semolina, which in the imagination of the agro-pastoral world recalls that of newborn calves. The silhouette is also reminiscent of a shell and it is the sea itself that inspires our recipe, which combines clams, cherry tomatoes and bottarga.

Sardinian pasta and Mediterranean Sea: perfect match

Bottarga is a typical product of the Mediterranean, particularly the Italian islands, which consists of the eggs of a mullet fish which are pressed and salted. It is a precious food, rich in calories and salt that should therefore be consumed sparingly, but it is also rich in Omega 3, essential for the reduction of diseases of the cardiovascular and neurological systems, and squalene, a steroid recently developed in the medical and therapeutic field that helps to relieve pain and inflammation of the joints, it is also useful against common viruses, to keep the skeletal and circulatory systems healthy and as a potentiator of muscle masses. The salty aroma of bottarga makes even the simplest dish exquisite. Combined with garlic, clams, cherry tomatoes and parsley it becomes practically irresistible.
Clams are an extraordinary food that contain a lot of B12, a fundamental vitamin for health. Unfortunately, it is often deficient in vegetarian and vegan diets, as it is present only in foods of animal origin (after liver, clams contain the second highest amount). It is a necessary substance for the production of red blood cells that transport oxygen and promotes the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and amino acids, as well as acting as a coenzyme for the regular synthesis of DNA and nucleic acids. Vitamin B12 is also responsible for the proper functioning of blood cells and the nervous system, as it affects the production of coatings and the regularity of their functioning.

How to cook clams

Often, the cooking of clams causes a sense of anxiety to those who are not experts in cooking, but the truth is that it is much simpler than you think. There are just two rules clean the clams very well, leaving them for a few minutes soaking in water and salt and eliminating those already open or broken, and don’t overcook them. Use a nice hot pan with oil, chilli pepper and garlic. Just a drop or two of white wine and cook for 2-3 minutes with the lid closed to achieve perfect cooking.

At this point the dish is ready: just stir the dumplings, already boiled, into the water of the clams together with some fresh tomatoes and finish with a scratch of bottarga, chopped parsley and lemon zest, which gives the acid kick and final aroma.

Ingredients for 4 people
350 g malloreddus
1 kg clams
250 g red cherry tomatoes
25 ml white wine
Bottarga to taste
Lemon peel
2 cloves of garlic
Fresh parsley
50 ml Extra Virgin Oil
Salt as needed
Pepper to taste

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