We thank you Paola, of Is Mellus – Import From Sardinia, a food company based in the UAE, for this amazing article on Sardinian gastronomy and the recipe of lorighittas.
As a proud Sardinian I would like to introduce you to my island’s cuisine and share the recipe of one of my favorite dishes: Lorighittas with artichokes, zucchini, sea urchin and mullet roe.
Sardinia is an island in the Mediterranean sea with a mild and temperate climate. Its cuisine is varied and simple, and has been shaped by contact with other Mediterranean cultures.
Each village has its own traditions using local produce. In the interior, a typical starter is a board or platter of cold cuts and cheeses (mainly goat and sheep) served with fresh vegetables or jams (Mediterranean flavours
like myrtle, wildberries, figs and prickly pears) or honey; while on the coast seafood appetizers are more popular (sea urchin, mullet roe and tuna).
For main courses in the Sardinian tradition, we find several kinds of durum wheat semolina such as malloreddus, fregula, lorighittas, culurgiones (a kind of hand-made stuffed ravioli, made with sheets of hard wheat flour,
and shaped like ears of corn, and filled with potato and mint or pecorino or ricotta cheese, eggs and saffron) and trofie (especially in Carloforte village on St. Peter’s, a very small island close to Sardinia that was influenced by the presence of the Genovese population). The second course (as in French Entrée, Italian Secondo) would be from the many different selections of meat or seafood.
Each dish is always paired by crispy and tasty carasau bread, served plain or with extra virgin olive oil and salt (called guttiau).
Extra virgin olive oil is a major feature of Sardinian culture. The abundance of olive groves on the island has made olive oil the king of Sardinian tables.
Olives, mostly green, in brine or crushed are used in various ways in many recipes. They can be used both as an appetizer, side dish or in various recipes. The homemade and traditional way of processing the olives yields
an extra virgin olive oil of unique quality. Its taste (fruity or medium fruity)and texture depend on its local area of cultivation .
Sardinia has very special desserts for every celebration. Almonds are the basic ingredient of most Sardinian sweets. A typical dessert is “sevadas”, a sweet raviolo made of pasta, stuffed with pecorino sheep cheese and
orange or lemon rinds, fried and served with pure honey or sugar on top.
There is no doubt the success of Sardinian food is due to the authenticity of its products. Recipes are passed down for generations with local ingredients grown in a natural and unspoiled land and environment. In addition, the north-west wind from the European mountains, which blows over the region, is especially good for the cultivation of rice, olives and salt.
I hope these lines have helped you discover something more about Sardinia. Now let’s go to the recipe of Lorighittas with artichokes, zucchini, sea urchin and mullet roe.
Lorighittas are a kind of handmade pasta. Their preparation is quite complex, requiring manual dexterity and a lot of time and patience, because each lorighitta is individually shaped by hand into the traditional and characteristic shape of an earring, before this jewel of pasta is left to dry.
Ingredients for 4 people:
400 grs of Lorighittas pasta;
2 medium zucchini
50 grs of mullet roe
200 gr sea urchins
extra-virgin olive oil
Fill a large pan or pot with water and boil.
Clean the artichokes by removing the hardest leaves and the head of the
heart (the thorny part) and peel the stems. Put the cleaned parts in the cold
water in another bowl with half lemon for few seconds and then cut the
upper part like cloves and the stems in cubes.
Wash and dry the zucchini, remove the ends and cut them like julienne (as
Put some garlic cloves and the pieces of artichoke in a pan, at first with high
heat until the garlic turns golden; lower the flame and let them cook. Add
the zucchini and the salt.
Grate the mullet roe or use powdered mullet roe.
Meanwhile, cook the lorighittas in plenty of salted boiling water following
the cooking time indication on the package.
Drain the lorighittas and add them to the pot with the rest of the
Turn off the flame and add a little more than half the mullet roe.
Mix well and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Add the sea urchins eggs and once served, add the remaining mullet roe.
Your lorighittas with artichokes, zucchini, sea urchins and mullet roe are
All these products are available at www.ismellus.com
Is Mellus is a company based in the UAE since 2012 that imports high quality Italian products in particular from Sardinia. They are selected from the best farms on the island, and include gourmet products like honey, jams, bread, rice, cheese, extra virgin olive oil, pasta, seafood, sweets, also organic and Gluten-free.
Is Mellus is committed to furthering interest and passion for Sardinia, through its best products, by exporting them to various countries. Is Mellus started by distributing high-quality products to European restaurants and
then moved on to wider horizons. For two years Is Mellus has been serving private clients through its web-shop.
Thanks to the high number of social events in the UAE, Is Mellus is able to present its products to a vast variety of people of different nationalities.
Text and pictures by Paola P.
Collected by Carole Sahebzadah