Malloreddus is one of the traditional pasta people have on the island.

They are usually prepared for special occasions: no festival occurs in Sardinia without malloreddus being abundantly served. It’s the kind of dish you usually eat at home, on Sundays, or find at trattorie (local eateries) or agriturismo. Restaurants usually serve variations of the traditional malloreddus alla campidanese recipe, or simply ignore the traditions and serve them with other new (and delicious) sauces.

Would you like to make malloreddus alla campidanese at home? Follow the recipe below: it’s traditional, but slightly revisited.

How To Make Malloreddus Alla Campidanese

Yield: 2 to 3

Malloreddus Alla Campidanese


A traditional recipe, slightly revisited, for a mix of unique textures and aromas. Guaranteed success.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Additional Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 17 minutes


  • For The Sauce
  • 1/2 White onion
  • 1/2 Red onion
  • 0.1 pound (60 grams) dry sausage
  • 0.7 pound (300 grams) fresh sausage
  • 0.7 pound (300 grams) ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 3 pinches of fine salt
  • 3.5 cups (800 grams) of tomato sauce

For The Final Dish

  • 2 cups (200 grams) of Malloreddus
  • 1/5 (20 grams) cup of grated pecorino fiore sardo
  • 1/3 cup (80 grams) of grated semi-seasoned pecorino
  • Abundant slightly salted cooking water


Malloreddus ingredients


  1. Peel the onions. My advice is to use a mixture of red and white onion for flavor. I use half red onion and half white onion: cut them in brunoise (small cubes).
  2. Chop the dry sausage into small pieces and take off the casing from the fresh sausage.

Cooking the sauce


  1. Heat the oil in a pot, add the onions and the rosemary and leave to brown 2 minutes over medium heat.
  2. Add the dry sausage and let it brown for 2 more minutes, then add the fresh sausage, let it color and immediately add the minced meat.
  3. Continue stirring in order to separate the ingredients. After a couple of minutes of browning add the salt and tomato passata.
  4. Bring to a boil then put the flame to the minimum and cover with a lid.
  5. Leave to cook for up to 2 to 3 hours to reduce the sauce.



  1. Bring a pot of slightly salted water to a boil and throw in the pasta.
  2. When cooked, drain and immediately pour the pasta into 300 gr. of sauce.
  3. Add the grated pecorino cheeses and a few drops of extra-virgin olive oil and serve.



Chef's Tip

The secret for a perfect dish is to properly stir in the cheese and letting everything rest for a minute before serving.

You can freeze whatever is left of the sauce for future use.

Malloreddus alla campidanese

Nutrition Information:


2 to 3

Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1345Total Fat: 100gSaturated Fat: 35gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 54gCholesterol: 294mgSodium: 4392mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 7gSugar: 19gProtein: 82g

Malloreddus Alla Campidanese Q&A

Can I freeze the sauce? 

You certainly can! Make sure to eat it within 90 days for best results.

Can I make malloreddus alla campidanese in advance? 

You mayprepare the sauce a day or two in advance, but make sure to cook the pasta only when you are ready to eat it!

Can I use the sauce on other kinds of pasta? 

Of course! This sauce is particularly good on short penne pasta.

Can I add garlic to the sauce? 

I recommend you don’t. The sauce is already rich and full of flavor as it is.

Can I add basil?

Some would say to go for it, but it is completely unnecessary. For added flavor you may want to add a tiny bit of saffron – but you really have to make sure to dose the amounts properly (I’d say 1/4 of a teaspoon is more than enough) or the flavor may end up being overpowering. Should you decide to you it, you’d have to add it to the meat once it is cooked.

Can I substitute pecorino with another cheese?

You may, if you can’t find pecorino cheese. I recommend an aged parmesan (Parmigiano) cheese instead.

Where can I find Sardinian sausage?

Sardinian dry and especially fresh sausage may be hard to come around but you can try to ask your butcher to prepare it for you: one of the key ingredients is fennel seeds, which gives it an extra delicate flavor.

Why are some malloreddus colored?

Some kinds of gnocchetti sardi have a bit of saffron in the mixture and thus become of a slight yellow color. This ingredient – often referred to as the red gold of Sardinia – was first introduced on the island by the Moors and adds a bit of extra flavor to the pasta.

How are malloreddus shaped?

The shape of the pasta is obtained by hand rolling the dough on a round reed basket – another traditional product of Sardinia. It’s not hard to make – it’s easier explained in a video which will come in the near future – but you can also easily find it in any store or, alternatively, even online – get them on Amazon here.


What are the origins of the name?

The origins of the name malloreddus are unclear. Some say it comes from the Latin “mallolus,” which means morsel, little bite. Others claim it comes from “malloru,” which in the Campidanese dialect of the Sardinian language means bull. Malloreddus would thus mean “calves.”

The name “gnocchetti sardi” with which people outside of Sardinia refer to this kind of pasta is a reference to its shape. In fact, malloreddus look like small potato gnocchi – but trust me, they taste nothing like them: there are no potatoes in them, but just durum wheat semolina, water and salt for a texture that is significantly sturdier, toothier. You’d have to boil malloreddus for hours in order to overcook it (please don’t try this at home!).

Further readings about Sardinia

Check out the following recipes:

For more readings about Sardinia, make sure to check my other posts:

This post was written by Strictly Sardinia contributor Gianni Simonetti. All photos in this post to be credited to Gianni Simonetti. Make sure to check out his Instagram channel for more delicious recipes.

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Read the best recipe to make malloreddus alla campidanese - via @c_tavani
Find out how to make malloreddus gnocchetti sardi - via @c_tavani