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Gnocchetti Sardi: Everything About the Pasta Shape

Did you know that there are multiple types of gnocchi? Depending on the ingredients used and its final shape, the gnocchi you’re familiar with may just be one of many different versions of this classic Italian pasta. Today, we’ll talk about gnocchetti sardi. 

Gnocchetti sardi is a small, ridged pasta that comes from Sardinia, Italy. Also known as malloreddus, they look like potato gnocchi but are made with traditional semolina flour instead of potatoes. This gives them a more distinct bite and texture. 

In this article, we’ll cover everything there is to know about gnocchetti sardi pasta and provide delicious recipes you can try yourself. Let’s dive in!

Gnocchetti Sardi: Origin and Meaning

Here’s a table with essential facts about gnocchetti sardi: 

Pasta Shape:Gnocchetti Sardi
Pasta Type:Ridged Pasta
Origin:Sardinia, Italy
Meaning:Alternative name “malloreddus” means “little calves”
Synonyms:Malloreddus, macarrones de punzu
Similar Shapes:Gnocchi, gnudi, malfattinni 

Where Did Gnocchetti Sardi Originate?

Gnocchetti Sardi pasta emerged from Sardinia, the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. These small, ridged shells are one of the most prepared traditional pasta dishes in Sardinia. It makes an appearance at every wedding, village fairs, and even at festivals. 

Traditionally, this pasta is made with saffron and barley flour. The unique pasta dough is cut into little pieces and is then flattened against the bottom of a wicker basket. The handmade version is called malloreddus while factory-made versions are called gnocchetti sardi. 

What Does Gnocchetti Sardi Mean?

The word “gnocchetti sardi” means gnocchi that came from Sardinia. Its other name, malloreddus, has a more interesting etymology. It comes from the word malloru, which means bull. Malloreddus refers to “little bulls” or “little cows.” Alternatively, the term malloreddu could also come from the latin word “mallolus,” which means dumpling. 

What Is the Difference Between Gnocchetti Sardi and Gnocchi?

Gnocchetti sardi and gnocchi share a lot of similar characteristics. They are both formed in the same manner and they look almost identical, but the main difference is their base ingredients. Gnocchetti sardi is made from semolina flour and water while gnocchi is typically made from potatoes. 

Both gnocchetti sardi and gnocchi can be enjoyed in very similar ways, and they are actually considered interchangeable. If you want to know which one to use, it all comes down to personal preference, availability, and the recipe being prepared. 

Traditional Dishes Suitable for Gnocchetti Sardi Pasta

Here are some traditional dishes you can make with gnocchetti sardi pasta:

Malloreddus Alla Campidanese

This decadent dish consists of perfectly cooked gnocchetti sardi tossed in a rich and meaty tomato ragu along with Sardinian sausages and a local wine called Vernaccia di Oristano. Malloreddus alla Campidanese is a perfect way to get introduced to Sardinia. 

Malloreddus with Sausage Ragu

A more simple recipe to try with your gnocchetti sardi, this one just calls for a simple yet hearty meat sauce, tomatoes, and topped off with a handful of arugula.  

These simple but delicious dishes are just a few ways you can enjoy gnocchetti sardi pasta.  

Final Thoughts 

If you want to take your culinary skills to the next level, gnocchetti sardi pasta may just be your next best friend. Unique, interesting, and incredibly appealing, this pasta is just as enticing to the mouth as it is to the eyes. 

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