I will show you how easy it is to make Homemade Gnocchetti Pasta (Malloreddus) also known as Gnocchetti Sardi. A traditional Sardinian pasta shape with ridges made with only 2 ingredients and a little bit of love!
I was so lucky to learn how to make it from lovely Nonna's whilst I was in Sardinia, and I’m so excited to share it with you!
Malloreddus pasta is made with only 2 simple ingredients… semolina flour and water. That's it!
The pasta shape looks similar to traditional potato gnocchi, hence the nickname Gnocchetti Sardi. This translates to Sardinian Gnochhetti. It however does not use any potatoes or eggs so it's naturally vegan too. You also don't need any fancy equipment or a pasta machine either.
Some pasta dishes you can try with your Sardinian Gnocchi are my Vodka Sauce, Creamy Pumpkin sauce and even Pasta Fagioli.
Once you start making your own homemade pasta, it's hard to go back! Wow, your guests on special occasions, family and friends, or simply enjoy yourself on a night at home.
To make the cute little shapes and grooves you will need a gnocchi board or wooden gnocchi paddle. If you don't have one of these, don't worry… you can also make it using a grater or even a fork. These grooves and ridges allow the pasta sauce to go into which is the best part!
The homemade pasta also sometimes uses saffron in the cooking water which will give it a light yellow colour. I'm sharing the classic version of this recipe, but feel free to add a pinch of saffron to the water when making the gnocchetti pasta.
Traditionally, Sardinian gnocchetti pasta is served with a rich ragu sauce which is made out of Italian sausage meat. This dish is called Malloreddus Alla Campidanese. I however have served it with a classic rich tomato sauce - pomodoro sauce. You can use a variety of sauces that would go great with this ridged pasta shape. A basil pesto sauce also goes so well.
Ingredients to make Gnocchetti Pasta
- Semolina flour is the traditional flour to use when making fresh homemade pasta. It’s called semola farina in Italian. Make sure it's in fine powder form and not the grainy type that is used when dusting pizza dough
- Water is the second ingredient used to make homemade pasta. Make sure it's room temperature as you don't want it too cold or hot
How to make Homemade Gnocchetti Pasta (Malloreddus)
Making homemade gnocchetti pasta is easier than you think. All you need are 2 ingredients and below I provide step-by-step instructions to make this delicious pasta.
Prepare the Dough
- In a bowl add semolina flour
- Slowly pour in room temperature water whilst mixing it into the flour with your other hand or a spoon as you are pouring. Create a big ball of dough then transfer it to the table
- Knead for 10 minutes using the palm of your hands. If it's too dry, add a splash of water, if it's too wet, sprinkle more flour. The dough should be smooth at the end with elasticity
- Roll into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes
Make Gnocchetti Sardi Shapes
- Cut a piece of the dough, about ⅙ of the dough. I would recommend you cover the remaining dough in plastic wrap or a tea towel so it doesn't get dry in the process. TIP, don't add any flour to the table surface or to the dough at this stage
- Using the palm of your hands roll the cut piece of dough into a long rope, around 1.5 cms / ½ inch in thickness
- With a knife cut the rope into small pieces around 1.5 cms / ½ inch in width
- To make the gnocchetti pasta shape use a gnocchi board, fork, or grater by firmly rolling each piece of dough with the side of your thumb away from you, going down on the board, and flicking it away at the end. Your thumb should guide the pasta to roll a full circle to create the gnocchetti shapes. In this step, you can sprinkle the gnocchetti pieces with some semolina flour so they don't stick together
Cook Gnocchetti Pasta
- Add gnocchetti pasta to a boiling pot of heavily salted water
- Cook until al dente, approximately 5-7 minutes depending on the size of the pasta. They should all be floating to the top, but always taste a piece to ensure it's cooked
- Add cooked pasta into a pan with your preferred sauce with a good splash of pasta water. Cook for 1-2 minutes in the sauce
- To serve, grate some fresh pecorino Romano cheese or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Tips and Tricks
- When making the pasta dough, always pour in the water slowly as you can always add more, but can't take any out. If the dough feels too dry or crumbly, add a touch more water. If it's too wet, sprinkle more flour. The consistency should be a smooth ball at the end of the kneading process with elasticity
- To knead the dough, hold the bottom of the ball with one hand and using your main hand, press the heel of your hand into the dough pushing it forward and back
- Always keep the remaining pasta dough wrapped in plastic wrap when making the malloreddus shapes so it doesn't dry out
- After making the gnocchetti shapes, dust with semolina flour so they don't stick to each other
- Fresh pasta cooks faster than dried pasta. It should take 5-7 minutes to cook until al dente depending on the size of the pasta (taste a piece to check it's cooked). Then allow the pasta to cook in the sauce for the final few minutes with a splash of pasta water
More Pasta Recipes
- Lemon Garlic Pasta (Pasta Al Limone)
- Pasta e Fagioli
- Pappardelle Pasta with Mushrooms
- Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca
- Vegan Bolognese
I love seeing your creations and remakes, so be sure to rate the recipe, comment and share your Homemade Gnocchetti Pasta (Malloreddus) photo on Instagram so I can share the love!
Homemade Gnocchetti Pasta (Malloreddus)
- 250 grams fine semolina flour
- 125 mls room temperature water
- Salt to cook the pasta
- In a large bowl add the semolina flour. Slowly pour in the water, mixing it into the flour with your other hand or a spoon as you are pouring the water inUsing your main hand, keep mixing and pressing the mixture so it all sticks together to create a big ball of dough
- When it's in one piece, transfer the mixture to a clean table and knead the dough for 10 minutes. If the dough feels too dry or crumbly, add a touch more water. If it's too wet, sprinkle more flour. The consistency should be a smooth ball at the end of the kneading process with elasticity
- Wrap in plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutesAfter resting, cut a piece off the dough with a knife, about ⅙ the of the dough, and wrap the rest back in the plastic wrap
- Using the heels of your hands roll this piece into a long rope, around 1.5 cms / ½ inch in thicknessUsing a knife or pasta cutter, cut the rope into small pieces around 1.5 cms / ½ inch in width
- Using a gnocchi board (or fork or grater) firmly roll each piece of pasta with the side of your thumb away from you, going down on the board, and flick it away at the end. Your thumb should guide the pasta to roll a full circle to create the gnocchetti shapes - see video and photos for guidance.You can sprinkle the completed gnocchetti pasta with semolina flour so they don't stick together
- In a large pot, boil heavily salted water. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, approximately 5-7 minutes depending on the size of your malloreddus. They should be floating to the top, but taste a piece to ensure its cooked
- Spoon the pasta into the pan with your sauce with a good splash of pasta water. Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes in the sauce and serve up!! Top with grated pecorino Romano cheese or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and enjoy your Homemade Malloreddus - Gnocchetti Sardi!
Love to make any kind of the pasta. I want to learn making the spinach pasta. Do you have this recipe of the spinach pasta?
Yay great to hear! I'll be sharing more fresh pasta recipes very very soon x