Sardinian gnocchi with sausage ragù, Malloreddus alla Campidanese. Talk about comfort soulful Italian food at its best. Beautiful homemade small gnocchi made with semolina and water mingling with a robust luxurious sausage ragù, that is just so delightful to the tastebuds. This is a must try!
Sardinian gnocchi with sausage ragù, authentic Italian recipe
One thing about Nicoletta, is she was born and raised in Italy. That means she knows all the authentic Italian recipes, either from her city, Rome, or from different Regions of Italy. This particular recipe is traditional from the island of Sardinia. Malloreddus, or Sardinian gnocchi, look like tiny potato gnocchi. However, there are no potatoes in the mix, but only durum wheat semolina flour, water and salt for a texture that is sturdier, and toothier. The sauce "alla Campidanese", from the inland where they originate, is a rich ragù made of tomato, onion, sausage meat, and Pecorino. Some recipes have also saffron in the sauce.
Why you would want to make this dish?
- First of all, making gnocchi is so fun. Nicoletta gives a great step by step process in this recipe for homemade "gnocchetti sardi".
- The ragù sauce is really easy to make.
- The sausage meat gives such bold and rich flavor to the tomatoes.
- Really, it is just so delicious, you will want try this ragu with different pasta shapes.
Now that I have you convinced, let's see what you will need to make this spectacular sausage ragù!
Ingredients for Sardinian gnocchi with sausage ragù, Malloreddus alla Campidanese
A small list of ingredients, however, getting good quality ingredients is key. Here is the list:
- Authentic Italian mild sausage (one of the key ingredients of the type of sausage used in the traditional recipe is fennel seeds)
- Evo oil
- Onion or shallot
- Passata or San Marzano tomatoes
- Salt and pepper or peperoncino
- Pecorino Romano
Building the ragù sauce
As for the traditional Ragù alla Bolognese, this sauce is all about introducing flavors to the pot one step at a time until it all comes together in a symphony of flavors. Come let me show you:
- Firstly, take the onion and finely chop it. Drizzle some olive oil in a medium deep pan. Swirl the onion into the oil to release some flavor into it. Turn on heat to a medium setting and let the onion sauté until it becomes translucent.
- Secondly, take the casing off the sausage and break the sausage meat into the pan. Let that simmer until browned.
- Thirdly, time to add your passata or San Marzano tomatoes, and give it a good stir. Season with a bit of black pepper. Taste and add salt if needed. Usually the sausage is well seasoned so it may not need any additional salt. That is why it is a good idea to taste it first. Turn the heat on low, add a couple of basil leaves, and let that simmer for about 30 minutes, adding a little warm water if it's getting too dry. If you are using the San Marzano tomatoes, before putting them into the pan, crush them into your hands, breaking them up into the pan with the sausage meat.
- NOTE: Some recipes also add saffron to the sauce to give the ragù a more distinct taste. If you want to, add very little saffron soaked in warm water to the passata in the pan.
- While the sauce is simmering, get a pot of salted water on boil.
- Then, toss your gnocchi into the boiling water, and stir gently. Once the gnocchi come to the surface and a foam begins to form on the water, this usually means they are done. Taste one if you are not sure.
- We always finish our pasta in the pan with the sauce. With that being said, take a sieve or spider, and scoop up the gnocchi and throw it into the pan with the sauce. Don't worry if some pasta water goes in, it gives a nice texture to the whole. Give it a good stir.
- Then, take some of the grated Pecorino, and add some of the pasta water to make a cream, whisking really well until melted and creamy. Add that cream to the gnocchi and sauce.
- Turn heat on low, and give the whole thing a good toss, so we get those Sardinian gnocchi with sausage ragù, Malloreddus alla Campidanese all well coated.
- Turn off heat, plate, and sprinkle with some more Pecorino, and place a fresh basil leaf on top and it is ready to serve.
Sardinian gnocchi with sausage ragù, Malloreddus alla Campidanese, absolutely divine!
These dishes always remind me of home. Comforting, soulful, aromatic, and tasty. I am going to dive in for a taste. WOW, the Sardinian gnocchi are amazing. Al dente and so flavorful. I can really taste the semolina. More so, they marry so well with the richness of the sauce. The tomatoes are bright, and all the seasoning of the sausage meat is beautifully infused giving us a beautiful balance of flavor in the sauce. I love this Sardinian gnocchi with sausage ragù, Malloreddus alla Campidanese, every bite is a delight. I am definitely going in for seconds, how about you?
- 320 g Sardinian gnocchi
- 1 Tbsp evo oil
- 300 grams sausage meat
- ½ small onion or shallot, minced
- 350-400 g Passata or San Marzano tomatoes
- salt, and pepper, or a pinch of peperoncino
- 50 grams finely grated Pecorino Romano
- 2-3 basil leaves
- In a medium deep sauté pan drizzle in olive oil. Add minced onion or shallot, and swirl around.
- Turn heat to a medium setting, and sauté the onion for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Take the sausage, make a slit down the center lengthwise and remove the casing. Break the meat into the pan with the onion.
- Sauté until sausage ground becomes browned a bit, about five minutes. Pour in your passata and give it a good stir. Season with some black pepper, or peperoncino, stir again and taste. If it needs salt add it now, however the sausage is usually well seasoned, better to taste before adding. If you are using the San Marzano tomatoes, squish the tomatoes with your hands breaking them up into the pan.
- Turn heat to very low, add a couple of basil leaves, and let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring every now and then, adding a little warm water if it is getting too dry. Turn off heat when it is done.
- While that is going, put a pot of salted water on boil. Take your gnocchi and place into the boiling water, and with a wooden spoon move them around gently. When the gnocchi come to the surface and a foam forms on the surface, the gnocchi are ready to come out, this usually takes 5-6 minutes. Taste one for doneness.
- Take a sieve or spider and scoop the gnocchi up, and place in the pan with the sauce with a little of the pasta water. Stir.
- Take ⅔ of the grated Pecorino, and add a tablespoon of the pasta water, whisk until well blended and creamy. Add more pasta water if needed.
- Turn heat on low, add the cream to the gnocchi and sauce. Give it a good toss and stir until well blended. Turn off heat.
- Plate and sprinkle with more grated Pecorino, and add a nice fresh basil leaf on top.
- Ready to serve.
Try to find a good quality Italian sausage, possibly a fennel sausage for a most authentic taste.
Some also add saffron to the sauce, to give the ragu an even more distinct taste. If you want to, add very little saffron soaked in warm water to the passata in the pan.
If you don't want to make your homemade gnocchetti sardi, find good quality store-bought ones in you local Italian store or online. Anyways, this ragu would be really good also with tagliatelle, fettuccine, penne, or cavatelli.
If you have leftovers, you can bake them the next day tossed with fresh chunks of mozzarella, and baked till crisp and gooey. Super yummy!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Pasta
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: ragu, meat sauce, Sardinian gnocchi, basil, Italian sausage, onion, passata, San Marzano tomatoes, Pecorino,
When I am not cooking, I enjoy playing musical instruments, singing, writing. I have learned over the years to live in gratitude and enjoy the moment.