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gnocchi sardi with tomato sauce

Traditional Gnocchi Sardi (Malloreddus) Recipe

“Gnocchi Sardi,” also known as “Malloreddus,” is a traditional Sardinian pasta. The name “Malloreddus” comes from the Sardinian word for “little bulls.” While it’s not a type of gnocchi as the name might suggest, the pasta has a similar shape to gnocchi but is made primarily from semolina and water. Here’s a recipe to make Gnocchi Sardi (Malloreddus) from scratch, followed by a traditional Sardinian sauce:

  • Total Time: 50 minutes


Units Scale

Gnocchi Sardi (Malloreddus) Pasta:

  • 2 cups semolina flour
  • 1 cup warm water (more or less as needed)
  • A pinch of salt


Sardinian Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground lamb or pork (or a mixture of both)
  • 1 can (14 oz) of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp saffron threads, soaked in a little warm water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Freshly grated Pecorino cheese, for serving


  1. Sautéing Base: In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté until translucent.

  2. Browning the Meat: Add the ground meat to the pan and brown it, breaking it up as it cooks.

  3. Adding Tomatoes and Saffron: Pour in the crushed tomatoes and the saffron along with its soaking water. Season with salt and pepper. Allow the sauce to simmer for about 20-30 minutes, until it thickens and the flavors meld.

  4. Serving: Toss the cooked Malloreddus with the sauce. Serve with a generous sprinkle of freshly grated Pecorino cheese on top.

  • Author: Shannen Mitch
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes

Keywords: Gnocchi Sardi