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Malloreddus Pasta: Everything About the Shape

Pasta is a staple food of Italian cuisine that has become a popular dish globally. It is made by combining wheat flour and water. Pasta comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. A good example worth mentioning is Malloreddus.

Malloreddus, also known as gnocchetti sardi, is a type of pasta that is a traditional specialty of the Italian island of Sardinia. The pasta is small and has a unique shape that resembles tiny seashells or ridged grains of rice. Typically, the pieces are about 0.5 in (13mm) to 0.75 in (19mm) long , 0.25 in (6mm) to 0.5 in (13mm) wide and 0.125 in (3 mm) to 0.25 in (6 mm) in diameter.

This article provides you with vital pieces of information about Malloreddus such as its origin and meaning. Without further ado, let’s dive in.

Malloreddus: Origin and Meaning

For clarity and a quick perusal, here is a fact chart about Malloreddus:

Pasta Shape:Malloreddus
Pasta Type:Shell Pasta
Length:0.5 in (13 mm)- 0.75 in (19 mm)
Width:0.25 in (6 mm) – 0.5 in (13 mm)
Diameter: 0.125 in (3mm) – 0.25 in (6mm)
Origin: Sardinia, Italy
Meaning: “Small Calves” or “little bulls”
Synonyms: Gnocchetti sardi, malloreddus sardi, Sardinian gnocchi, Seadas
Similar Shapes:Cavatelli, orecchiette, fusilli, strozzapreti

Where Did Malloreddus Originate?

Malloreddus pasta is a traditional Sardinian pasta that originates from the Campidano region of Sardinia. It has been made by hand for centuries and is a staple of Sardinian cuisine.

This article traced the origin of Malloreddus pasta to the island of Sardinia, specifically the Campidano region. The Malloreddus pasta is a traditional pasta that has been made in this region for hundreds of years, and it is a popular dish in Sardinian cuisine. The article also explains that malloreddus is sometimes referred to as “gnocchetti sardi” or “Sardinian gnocchi,” but it is not actually a type of gnocchi because it is made with semolina flour rather than potato.

What Does Malloreddus Mean?

Malloreddus was coined from two Sardinian words “Malloru” and “Reddu.” The former means sheep while the latter refers to a small size. The combination of the words becomes Malloreddus which was inspired by the size of a lamb’s head.

According to TasteAtlas, Malloreddus is a type of pasta that is traditional to the Italian island of Sardinia. The name Malloreddus comes from the Sardinian word “malloru,” which means sheep, and “reddu,” which means small. This translates to “little sheep,” referring to the shape of the pasta, which is reminiscent of a small sheep’s head.

What Is the Difference Between Malloreddus and Orecchiette

Malloreddus, also known as “gnocchetti sardi,” is a unique type of pasta that has a distinctive shape and texture. It is often compared to “orecchiette,” but there are certain notable differences between the two.

Greatist provides comprehensive differences between “Malloreddus” and “Orecchiette” 

Orecchiette, which means “little ears” in Italian, is a pasta that originates from the southern region of Puglia. Like Malloreddus, orecchiette is made from semolina flour and water. However, orecchiette is shaped like a small, concave disc, while Malloreddus is shaped like a small, ridged shell.

In addition, the texture of Malloreddus is rougher and denser than that of orecchiette, which has a smoother texture and a slightly chewy consistency. The ridges on Malloreddus also make it better at holding onto sauces and flavors.

Traditional Dishes That Use Malloreddus

Malloreddus is a traditional pasta shape that is often used in Sardinian cuisine, where it is commonly served with tomato sauce and pecorino or with clams and tomatoes.

Here are a few recipes suggestions:

Malloreddus Alla Campidanese (Sardinian Ridged Pasta With Saffron and Pork Ragù)

Malloreddus Recipe (Sardinian Gnocchi) with Sugo

Finally, one home-made recipe is the malloreddus alla nuorese recipe that is prepared with fresh Sardinian sausage, plum tomatoes, dried sheep ricotta and wild fennel.


Italy Magazine: Great Foods of Italy: Sardinian Malloreddus

Taste Atlas: Malloreddus

Greatist: The Ultimate A–Z Guide to 49 Different Pasta Types and How to Use Them

True Italian: Malloreddus alla campidanese: tradition and taste from Sardegna

Serious Eats: Malloreddus Alla Campidanese (Sardinian Ridged Pasta With Saffron and Pork Ragù)

Decisive cravings: Malloreddus Recipe (Sardinian Gnocchi) with Sugo

Strictly Sardinia: A Local Recipe For Malloreddus Alla Campidanese (Gnocchetti Sardi)

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