The top 10 dishes you must try in Sardinia:

When you are on vacation, beyond touring the most important tourist places that Sardinia has, it is wonderful to be able to experience its culture, its customs and enjoy its typical local dishes. This allows you to experience your trip in a special way. You will feel like a local.

Local people take great pride in their delicious cuisine and the way in which it is prepared, so it is easy to find typical Sardinian dishes in restaurants throughout the island. 

These are the most important typical dishes that you mustn’t miss on your trip!

1- Culurgiones
This pasta is similar to ravioli but filled with potatoes and mint. It is the par excellence example of the culinary tradition of Ogliastra. Try the version that is typical for Arzana: porcini mushroom filling

2- Su porcheddu “incarralzadu” (Nuoro) This alternative way of cooking is the very famous Su Porcheddu. This roasted pig does indeed require skillful craftsmanship. Typical for the Nuoro area, “incarralzadu” demands the meat should be cooked in a hole in the ground, taking around three hours until done.

3- Spaghetti con i ricci di mare is a simple pasta dish consisting of spaghetti and sea urchins, technically sea urchin gonads that produce the roe. As the urchin is delicate, it should be cooked shortly, to preserve its tender texture and flavors. Other elements in the sauce typically include olive oil, garlic and salt, while parsley is occasionally used as garnish and lemon wedges can be served on the side.

4- Bottarga 

These salted and dried mullet eggs are grated or cut into flakes to serve on top of bruschetta, pasta and salads. Bottarga has an intense and savory flavor, which is enhanced when combined with butter and lemon.

5- Fregola 

This tiny semolina pasta is shaped into irregular balls that are just a few millimeters in diameter. Fregola is found all around the island and is rather versatile, often served with both meat and fish sauces. Among the most typical preparations is fregola with clams and bottarga, or with sausage.

6- Malloreddus 

Also known as Sardinian gnocchi, malloreddus are made from semolina flour and water. These striped shells are just a couple of centimeters long. They’re typical of the Medio Campidano province, but widespread everywhere nowadays. They’re often served with tomato sauce, sausage, saffron and Pecorino.

7- Pane Carasau This twice-baked bread is shaped in a thin, crunchy disc – it’s also known as la carte da musica, or music paper. Pane Carasau can be eaten with meat, cheese, seasoned with oil and salt, and then placed in the oven, after which it’s called Pane Guttiau. If served with broth, tomato sauce, and poached egg it’s known as Pane Fratau. It can also substitute pasta sheets when making lasagna.

8- Pecorino Fiore SardoThis PDO cheese is produced only with Sardinian sheep’s milk. Its color falls somewhere between white and amber, and it has a hard, crumbly and grainy texture. Its flavor is slightly acidic and it becomes spicier with aging. It’s the main ingredient of seadas, a honey-drizzled fried cheese.

9- Octopus salad: Sardinian octopus salad is usually served as a starter. The main ingredient of this dish is obviously the local octopus, which is smaller than an oceanic octopus, and consequently, it tastes very delicate. It is usually served with boiled potatoes, celery and is dressed with garlic, parsley, olive oil and lemon.

10- PardulasPerfect for breakfast, though entirely acceptable at any time of day, these small pies are filled with a mix of ricotta, saffron and lemon, bound by a thin collar of crisp puff pastry. Originally an Easter dessert, they’re now found year-round at almost any local bakery. Keep an eye out for an equally tasty variation called casadinas, made with young pecorino sardo instead of ricotta.

By the way, Saffron is produced in the municipalities of San Gavino Monreale, Turri, and Villanovafranca and holds DOP status. Among the finest in the world, Sardinian saffron has a bright red color and a very intense aroma.

If you accompany these dishes with typical wines of Sardinia, like the Connonau, the flavors will be even better. On you will find excellent options of typical products from direct producers. Do not hesitate to look for someone on this site!

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