This recipe is by home cook Cesaria for the book, Pasta Grannies, edited by Vicky Bennison.
Lorighittas are double-hooped, twisted strands of spaghetti. In the days before radio, TV and mobile phones, making lorighittas was an opportunity for women to get together to gossip and sing.
- ½ tsp salt
- 200 ml (7 fl oz) warm water
- 400 g (14 oz/3⅓ cups) finely ground semolina flour
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1.8 kg (4 lb) free-range, organic chicken, jointed into 8 pieces
- 50 ml (1¾ fl oz/3 tbsp) white wine
- 750 g (1 lb 10 oz) passata
- 20 g (¾ oz) parsley, chopped
- grated pecorino sardo
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. To make the pasta, dissolve the salt in the water then mix together with the flour. Knead for five minutes to form a dough that is silky and not sticky to the touch. It won’t have the soft pillowy feel of egg-based pasta dough, but it will feel nice and plastic – and you can use it immediately, there’s no need to leave it to rest. If you knead the dough for longer, it will develop some elasticity and then you will have to let it rest for 20 minutes or so.
2. Take small chunks of dough and roll each one into a spaghetti strand 2.5 mm in diameter. Snip the strand into 20 cm (8 in) lengths and roll it twice round 3 fingers (if they are fairly small) and pinch the ends together. Pinch off any excess. Hold the loop at the join and twist it with the other hand like you are winding a watch (it helps to watch Cesaria's video on YouTube). Place the lorighittas on a tea towel to dry.
3. To make the chicken sauce, heat the oil in a casserole or Dutch oven and soften the onion for 5 minutes before stirring in the garlic. Cook the mixture for a minute or so more before adding the chicken pieces, wine and passata.
4. Add a pinch of salt, cover with the lid and let everything simmer for a good 45 minutes. Add the parsley at the end of the cooking. Remove the chicken pieces; they can either be served alongside the pasta, or do as Sardinians do and serve it as a main course after the pasta.
5. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the lorighittas and cook for about 8–10 minutes. Drain them and then dress them with the pecorino and stir through the tomato sauce. The lorighittas are now ready to be eaten, with or without the chicken.
Recipe from Pasta Grannies by Vicky Bennison (Hardie Grant, RRP $39.99)