Broker Check
Malloreddus (gnochetti Sardi) with sausage and fennel ragù

Malloreddus (gnochetti Sardi) with sausage and fennel ragù

November 03, 2020

I obtained this recipe through a family friend, a gentleman who is from the town of Sardinia, a large Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea. This malloreddus recipe is served with sausage and fennel ragù – the perfect sauce to nestle into all the tiny ridges of this classic Sardinian gnochetti. Malloreddus are a common sight around Sardinia, and are as pleasing on the eye as they are on the palate. Although they look like traditional gnocchi, malloreddus are made with a simple mixture of semolina, water and saffron, a kind of happy medium between gnocchi and pasta.

This recipe won’t take too long if you buy pre-made gnocchi. If you want to get authentic, though and make your own gnocchi, prepare to exercise patience. It does take awhile to get that part of the recipe right.


200g of semolina
100ml of warm water
1 pinch of powdered saffron

3 pork sausages, good-quality, removed from their skins (use Sardinian pork and fennel sausages if you can get hold of them)
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced
100ml of white wine
400g of tinned Datterini tomatoes
1 bay leaf
olive oil
black pepper


To make the gnocchi dough, add the saffron powder to the warm water, then beat into the semolina to form a dough

Knead for 5 minutes until the dough becomes springy. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest for 1 hour

Meanwhile, make the ragù. Sauté the onions and garlic with the fennel seeds and bay leaf in a splash of oil until soft but not coloured

Add the sausage meat, stir until nicely browned, then add the white wine and reduce by three quarters

Add the tin of tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook down for around 20 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Keep warm

When ready to shape the malloreddus, cut off a piece off the dough and roll into a thin cylinder, around 0.7cm in diameter. Chop into pieces around 2.5cm long

Repeat this process with the rest of the dough

Using a gnocchi board, drag the dough pieces down the board with your thumb one at a time, creating ridged little curls; the perfect shape for collecting the ragù

Leave the shapes to dry out on a tray sprinkled with semolina flour

Cook in a pan of salted boiling water, they will float to the top when cooked

Drain the malloreddus and stir into the ragù. Divide between plates and top with plenty of grated Pecorino Romano