Malloreddus, also known as maccarrones and maccarrones cravaos, is a type of shell-shaped pasta that’s unique to Sardinia. It is available from selected delis, but you can substitute small pasta shells, although the latter will not have the same deeply grooved outer surface that’s typical of malloreddus pasta.
- 1 sheet pane carasau (see Note)
- olive oil, to brush
- 6 female zucchini flowers, with baby zucchinis attached (see Note)
- 400 g malloreddus or other small pasta shells
- 125 ml (½ cup) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 small long red chilli, finely chopped
- chopped flat-leaf parsley, to serve
- 400 g fresh ricotta
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tsp rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 tsp oregano, finely chopped
- 2 tsp thyme leaves
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
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.
You will need 4 x 125 ml or 2 x 250 ml ramekins for the baked ricotta. At the restaurant, Giovanni makes his own goat’s milk ricotta, which he uses in the baked ricotta recipe.
Drink 2010 Sella e Mosca Terre Bianche Alghero Torbato. Or try a complex white rich in minerality, balanced by savoury textures.
To make baked ricotta, preheat oven to 180°C and grease 4 x 125 ml or 2 x 250 ml ramekins. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and white pepper. Divide mixture among ramekins. Bake ricotta for 30 minutes (45 minutes for 250 ml ramekins) or until tops are golden. Cool completely.
Increase oven to 180°C. Brush pane carasau with oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 2 minutes or until golden. Cool, then crumble into small pieces and set aside.
Remove baby zucchinis from flowers, trim, then thinly slice. Remove and discard stamens from flowers, then tear flowers into pieces.
Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 80 ml cooking water.
Heat 80 ml oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, baby zucchinis and chilli, and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add pasta and cook, tossing and adding some of the reserved cooking water, for 2 minutes or until well combined and slightly creamy.
Add parsley and zucchini flowers, reserving a few to serve and drizzle over remaining 2 tbsp oil. Toss gently to combine. Scatter with pane carasau and reserved zucchini flowers and top with baked ricotta, to serve.
• Pane carasau is a Sardinian flatbread from selected delis. Substitute other flatbread.
• Female zucchini flowers, from selected greengrocers are smaller than male ones, and have a small zucchini attached to the flower.
Photography by Chris Chen and Alan Benson. Wine suggestions by Tim Watkins.