Ogliastra, land of centenarians, rich in aromas and flavors, offers traditional, unique, tasty and genuine food. Spending a holiday in this wonderful Eastern region of Sardinia will help you meet its beautiful crystal-clear sea, its green mountains, the clean and fresh air but above all, its cuisine. Ogliastra’s cuisine offers unique recipes. It will be a real eno-gastronomic journey to discover dishes, land and sea, linked to local folklore that is handed down from generation to generation, exported all over the world and above all, enjoyed at the table. If you’re wondering what to eat in Ogliastra, here are some of the typical dishes to be enjoyed during your holiday.
In Ogliastra, the everyday bread is the pistoccu. The dough consists on flour flower and slightly leavened semolina. The puff pastries, expertly worked, take different shapes, rectangular or circular, depending on the region. In Bari Sardo, for example, su pistoccu assumes an oval shape. Once worked it is put in the oven. As soon as a golden crust is formed, it is baked and cut in half, horizontally, to be put back to toast in the still warm oven. Pistoccu is a very versatile bread. It can be eaten dry and crisp or it can be softened with water or broth. It can also be seasoned with tomato sauce and pecorino or accompanied with meats and cheeses.
Su pani pintau
The pani pintau is the augural bread that appears on the tables of Ogliastra on the occasion of the happiest recurrences, banquets and weddings. It’s a very decorated bread. The decorations are given with the help of small tools or scissors by the expert hands of the women from Ogliastra.
The first dish from Ogliastra for excellence is represented by culurgionis, fresh pasta stuffed with potatoes and pecorino cheese. The pasta is what you’d normally make for ravioli, while the filling, which can change from region to region, is composed not only of potatoes and cheese, but also of garlic or onion and mint.
In Bari Sardo, Loceri, Tertenia, Jerzu, Ulassai, Osini, Gairo, Cardedu and Lanusei the culurgionis are filled with potatoes, cheese, garlic and mint. In Tortolì, Lotzorai and Girasole the filling of potatoes and cheese is flavored with onion. In Arzana the flavor of cheese dominates. In Talana and Urzulei, on the other hand, the filling is made up only of cheese and potatoes. Tradition wants that ravioli are closed by hand and pinched along the edges with the tip of the nails, so as to depict the wheat ears. Once cooked, they are seasoned in layers, with tomato sauce and a sprinkling of grated pecorino cheese.
Another first dish to be enjoyed on holiday in Ogliastra is represented by malloreddus, gnocchetti shaped like a shell of the size of not even two centimeters, kneaded with durum wheat flour and lukewarm salty water. They are usually seasoned with tomato sauce and sausage. They are also good with seafood!
Sa fregula is a typical Sardinian pasta made with semolina and water. A simple product of the popular tradition that in Ogliastra is seasoned in many different ways. It is typically served with seafood such as clams, shrimp or bottarga but is also excellent with sausage or vegetables.
Sa pezza a orrostu
The king of main courses is the roast meat of sheep, lamb, goat or piglet.
The roast is a tradition and the meat cooked on the spit in front of the fire never lack on the tables in Ogliastra. It is traditional to accompany the roast meat with the intense aromas of the Mediterranean, especially with myrtle or with the scents of mountain herbs such as thyme and rosemary.
For those who appreciate the special taste of the entrails of the animals, absolutely not to be missed is “sa trattalia”, a braid of lamb or goat’s intestines cooked on a spit.
The processing of Sa Trattalia takes time because the entrails must be carefully washed in vinegar and lukewarm water and portioned uniformly to the maximum extent of a palm of your hand. Subsequently, a slice of lard is inserted into the spit, then the heart, the lung, followed by the liver and finally the spleen; and it begins again. Finally, with the small intestine and the peritoneum, a sort of narrow net called “sa nappa” is woven around the entrails. When this step is done, it is put on the fire for about two hours, turning the spit slowly. At the end of the cooking, the meat is served, and Sa Trattalia is ready. The result is a dish with a robust flavor and aroma that should be served warm, resting on large slices of bread that absorb the fat of the roast and sprigs of myrtle that contribute to the harmony of flavors.
Another very tasty and typical dish is sa coccoi.
In Ogliastra you can taste:
– sa coccoi prena, a sort of focaccia consisting of a mixture of pasta, mashed potatoes and pecorino cheese;
– sa coccoi e corcoriga o de cibudda, a sort of schiacciata of pumpkin and zucchini or onions, cooked in the oven.
Ogliastra it is also appreciated for its wide range of typical, mostly dry desserts. The variety of the Ogliastra sweets, like those of Sardinia in general, is particularly linked to some life events (baptisms, weddings, communions, folk festivals) which are represented through particular aromas and flavors.
Always present in patisseries and bars, but easily available on the market, amaretti, pardule, papassine, paniscedda, pesche, pirichittus, seadas and many other sweets.
The amaretti are almond paste sweets. The pardule has a filling of ricotta or very fresh cheese. Papassine and paniscedda are made with cooked wine. Pesche, made of biscuit dough, are filled with jam or nutella. Once filled, they are soaked in alchermes and passed in sugar. The pirichittus are hard dough sweets coated with lemon icing. Finally, the seadas are nothing more than a disc of fresh pasta that contains a filling of fresh cheese flavored with lemon, fried and covered with honey or sugar.
Wines and liqueurs
To accompany all these dishes, wine should not be missing: Ogliastra is famous for its Cannonau, produced exclusively with cannonau grapes in the area, especially from Jerzu. Aged in oak barrels, this wine, deep red in color and with a high alcohol content, matches perfectly the local meat and cheese dishes.
To complete the meals instead, the tradition wants you to drink a glass of myrtle, an ancient elixir that symbolizes the hospitality of Sardinia. The liqueur is an excellent digestive with an aromatic and persistent profile. Many families in Ogliastra still produce it at home, often to donate it or offer it to relatives and friends.
Ogliastra is therefore not just sea and mountains but it is also a real land of taste! Those described above are just some of the typical dishes of this wonderful Sardinia.If you are looking for a relaxing and pampering holiday, then you’re in the right place!
Ogliastra will fill your heart and with her eno-gastronomic specialities will make your vacation even more beautiful, we are sure of it!