Cagliari Food & Wine
Besides a cultural life rich in theatre, opera, concerts, and exhibitions, Cagliari offers a cuisine rich in both seafood and meat dishes guaranteed to delight the most demanding palate. Visiting Cagliari means discovering a rich and varied style of cooking.
The choice begins with bread. Some examples are: su civraxu, a large, round, flour loaf made with hard-wheat semolina and cut on top with scissors to form small decorative points (is pizzicorrus) that become crisp and golden when baked; a round, wafer-thin loaf made from a crisp sheet of flour and semolina and twice-baked is pane carasau (also called carta musica, meaning sheet music). Excellent served with salt and olive oil, it is then called pani guttiau. Pani carasau is used to make a simple, but delicious, first course, pani frattau, where thin sheets are first dipped in broth or boiling salted water, layered with tomato sauce, minced meat and grated cheese, and topped with a poached egg. Another flat bread is the soft, round spianadas.
A typical meal always begins with an appetizer: wild boar ham, sausage, lamb or veal, clams or mussels cooked alla marinara with white wine, garlic, and parsley; burrida (dogfish marinated in a walnut and garlic sauce) or bottariga (salted, dried and pressed roe of tuna or mullet) served in paper-thin slices with lemon and olive oil.
First courses include: sa fregula, an irregularly shaped, grain sized pasta served in fish broth; malloreddus a small grooved pasta flavored with saffron and served with tomato sauce and cheese; culingionis, ravioli made with semolina (often with a potato puree and mint filling); and panadas, a round pie filled with vegetables, meat, or eels. Panadas are such a popular specialty that there is a yearly festival dedicated to it in Assemini in July.
Nasco di Cagliari, produced since ancient times in the district of Cagliari, is made solely from the variety of the same name. It was once known as Nascu, a term derived from the Latin word muscus or musky, which refers to the var's unmistakable scent of underbrush. Nasco is, without doubt, one of the oldest varieties on the island.