pasta recipe

This Authentic Italian Pasta Recipe Will Take You Straight to Italy

Elena Davis is a true Italian cook with true Italian flair! Her website is one to bookmark come dinner time. You can check out all of her recipes at

You might not have tried this pasta recipe before.

You’ll fall in love with this traditional Sardinian pasta dish after just one bite.

Elena Davis shares shares the recipe for one of her favorite comfort foods—Malloreddus alla Campidanese.

Find more recipes from Elena on Instagram, @cucinabyelena, or at Find all of Elena’s tips for this recipe here.


Malloreddus Alla Campidanese


  • 400 grams Sardinian Malloreddus or Gnocchetti Sardi
  • 1 lb Fresh Italian sausage- ground pork sausage meat (ideally with fennel seeds)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lb can high quality crushed tomato sauce or puree
  • 5 fresh basil leaves, torn by hand
  • a pinch of ground saffron (optional)
  • 1 cup freshly grated pecorino sardo cheese or parmigiano cheese, for serving
  • Kosher salt for pasta water


  1. If using saffron- Add the saffron to a small bowl with 1 tablespoon of water. Let sit until ready to use.
  2. In a large saucepan or sauté pan, on medium heat, add onion, and cook in olive oil for 1-2 minutes until translucent, then add the sausage meat and bay leaf. Cook for 10 minutes breaking up the sausage and letting it brown, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the tomato puree and saffron (if using) to the sausage sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the fresh basil and stir to combine.
  4. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the malloreddus until al dente according to package instructions. Once cooked, drain the malloreddus, put them in the pan with the sauce, and mix until combined.
  5. Add grated pecorino romano cheese to the pasta and stir until it is well incorporated. Serve hot. Add additional grated cheese if desired. Buon appetito!

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