Claudio Ara features a wide choice of Sardinian recipes in Cagliari, traditional dishes presented in their original preparation or modernized in a creative way. The traditional Sardinian recipes from Cagliari and other provinces are accompanied by some recipes and ingredients from Veneto, which is geographically far but close for its traditions and culture.
In this way, Claudio Ara features Sardinian and Venetian specialties in his menu. The appetizers include some delicacies like artichoke salad with Bottarga and Granglona, octopus and potato salad, seafood soup, raw scampi and prawns from Villasimius, charcuterie and cheese with Fiore Sardo, ham from Oliena, sausage and coppa from Ploaghe, bacon from Samassi, ricotta mustia from Thiesi, soppressa from Veneto, Sardinian Modican beef tripe with tomato sauce and mint, snails with tomato sauce and chilli “tappadas a sa schiscionera”.
The pasta dishes instead include some specialties like the “Minestr’e Cocciula” with saffron from San Gavino, the soup with Merca, the artichoke soup, the soup with the ancient barley from the valleys close to Belluno, “Pani frattau”, “Mazzamurru”, the Vialone nano risotto from Grumolo delle Abbadesse, the “Fregula” with fish sauce and saffron from San Gavino, the bronze-drawn pasta from Cellino with prawn and artichokes, “Macarronis de busa” with squid ink, “Ciccionedas” Campidanese style with “Casizolu” from Santulussurgiu, “Natalis” with game sauce, “Culurgionis” with tomato sauce and mint and corn polenta Biancoperla.
The main dishes include some Sardinian and Venetian specialties like: the stuffed hen and the boiled Sardinian Modican beef with preserves, the IGP Sardinian lamb with white sauce, the stewed lam from Alpago, the stewed Sardinian Modican beef with Cannonau wine, the beef striped meat with rocket salad and Granglona, the rabbit “a succhittu” with capers from Selargino, the catch of the day with potatoes and the Porcini mushrooms with artichokes and potatoes, the cod Vicenza style and the catch of the day with Vernaccia wine or potatoes and saffron from San Gavino.
The salads are very delicious and include the Caprese, with cow or buffalo mozzarella from Siurgus, tomatoes, basil and the Sarda with lettuce, tomatoes, tomino cheese from Nurra, capers from Selargino and olives from Dolianova. Furthermore, it is possible to taste a selection of cheeses with season preserves, Fiore Sardo, roasted Pecorino, “Casizolu” from Santulussurgiu and the Monte Veronese di Malga, created with Slow Food products.
Last but not least, the desserts include some specialties like Timball’e latte, panna cotta made with goat milk, the Seadas with strawberry tree honey, the Tiramisu della Vecchia Trattoria.
At Claudio Ara’s restaurant all the Sardinian recipes in Cagliari and the Venetian ones depend on the seasons and the availability of the ingredients.
Claudio Ara has rediscovered an ancient method to cook in Sardinia, in his restaurant in Cagliari, called “Sa schiscionera”. Traditionally it was the best way to cook the potatoes with garlic and parsley in an earthenware pan. Over the time this cooking method and denomination was extended to any ingredient and today it refers to any ingredient with garlic and parsley.
Another example of traditional dish served at Claudio Ara’s restaurant in Cagliari is the mullet Sa Merca, which is traditionally a fisherman’s dish from Cabras, Riola, Nurachi and Baratili San Pietro. The story of this Sardinian specialty dates back to the past and to the natural preservation methods, with the wild marsh herb called Sa Merca, that allowed fishermen to preserve the fish they had caught, keeping it soft and flavoured. The name “merca” probably came from that salted food.
The habit to preserve food with salt is historically ancient, many scholars think that the inventors of this method were the Phoenicians, but many others think that this method is even more ancient, between the Superior Palaeolithic and the Neolithic.
The mullet Sa Merca has more than one thousand years of history but is still traditional in Cabras. Thanks to the top quality snappers of the lagoon, there you may find the best mullet bottarga. Claudio Ara selected the snappers for this special recipe because their meat is perfect to be preserved with this method. The dish is accurately prepared with love and ability and the result is a tasty and long-lasting product with the aftertaste of the true Sardinian fish, but it is a way to share the history of the past civilizations, their wisdom and fascination.