Gnochetti Sardi alle Vongole
Gnocchetti Sardi, also known as Malloreddus, is the foundation of Sardinian cuisine. Accompanied by clams, there’s no finer taste in the Mediterranean! The dumplings have tiny ridges and are made simply from semolina, water and saffron. No pasta machine necessary, you can use the back of your fork!
For the gnochetti
- A pinch of saffron threads
- 125ml water
- 200g semolina flour (semolato di gran duro)
- A pinch of salt
For the sauce
- 500g fresh clams in shells, cleaned as in vongole recipe
- 25g pancetta
- 3 tbsp Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 200ml passata
- 12 cherry tomatoes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 60ml vodka
- A handful of basil leaves
- Place the saffron threads in the water and leave to infuse for 5 minutes. Place the semolina flour and a good pinch of salt on the work surface and mix together. Make a big hole in the middle and add the saffron water. Using a fork, slowly pull the flour into the water moving around in a circle
- When the flour and the water are combined, test it with your fingers. If it sticks to your fingers it’s too wet and needs a little more flour. Knead, for about 5 minutes until the dough is elastic. Alternatively, you can do this in a mixer using a dough hook. Wrap the ball in cling film and chill for 30 minutes to relax.
- Roll the pasta into thin logs, then pinch off small balls. Shape them by pushing against the ridges on the back of a fork or use a gnocchi paddle.
- To make the sauce, heat the oil in a pan with a lid, add the pancetta and cook until crispy. Reduce the heat and add the shallot and garlic and cook until softened.
- Stir in the passata and cherry tomatoes, cover and cook until the tomatoes start to burst. Season to taste.
- Add the clams and pour over the vodka. Increase the heat, cover with the lid, shaking the pan occasionally. When the clams have opened, remove from the heat and discard any clams that haven't opened.
- Meanwhile bring a pan of water to the boil, add the gnochetti and cook until it rises to the surface, then remove with a slotted spoon. Add the drained gnochetti to the clams and sauce and stir to coat.
- Divide between 2 bowls and serve immediately, garnished with fresh basil.