The amazing Sardinian traditions in Cagliari are celebrated by Claudio Ara in his Osteria del Doge, a restaurant that aims to rediscover the unique and ancient flavours through traditional recipes, which are sometimes thoroughly followed and sometimes revisited in a modern style.
Tradition, innovation and experimentation are the base of Claudio Ara’s cuisine, which features historic dishes and Sardinian traditions in Cagliari.
Claudio Ara is a special chef because he tries to rediscover the story of his region, promoting its value and expressing it through his dishes. Therefore he tries to study the Sardinian traditions, not only the culinary ones.
An example comes from the Easter celebrations. In Sardinia the Easter celebration, called Sa Pasca Manna, is a very popular religious tradition, especially related to bread. Originally there were groups of women who had to cook the bread for the celebration. They worked in harmony and had well defined roles: there were some women who prepared the dough, some who decorated it and some who baked it.
Together they prepared a special type of bread for Easter, which was extremely elaborated, as if it was a decoration around an egg, with various shapes like a small crown, a chick, a little girl, a small peacock, a fish or small baskets with flowers and fruits. The bread for the celebrations in Sardinia has many names, depending on the province and town where it is prepared, like “coccoi cun s’ou”, “coccoi a pippia”, “coccoi de pasca”, “coccoi de ou” and “cozzulu di l’obu”.
Bread is essential in the Sardinian recipes and traditions and in Cagliari Claudio Ara uses it for amazing dishes, like the soups called Pani Frattau, Mazzamurru and Suppa Galluresa or Coatta, where the old bread is soaked into broth and covered by tomatoes and pecorino cheese, creating a sort of lasagne.
The Sardinian traditions in Cagliari are told by the culinary sensitivity of chef Claudio Ara, who creates true masterpieces with the traditional Sardinian products like the “Lorighittas”, a type of pasta produced only in Morgongiori. This pasta is a Sardinian specialty and is entirely homemade, without using any machines. Durum wheat, salt, water and a lot of ability and patience are the only ingredients of this unique product. Only the wisdom of the old and skilled pasta makers and the quality of the ingredients allow the chef to prepare excellent pasta dishes for the guests of the Osteria del Doge in Cagliari.
ClaudioAra uses only Sardinian vegetables for his sauces, like the tomatoes Camone, with their unmistakable flavour from the south of Sardinia. Their quality is continuously checked, from the moment they are sown to the moment they are picked. They are very successful, they are small and pulpy, with a slightly acid flavour, and they are excellent for fresh and tasty salads. This type of tomato was cultivated in the south of Sardinia in the mid 80s when some fungi started to threaten the traditional tomatoes in the greenhouses. They started to look for a genetic combination that resisted to this plague and therefore invented this tomato. The tomato Camone is furthermore a natural remedy, an excellent ally for the wellbeing and health because it contains a lot of vitamin C, potassium and carotenoids.
The desserts are very popular among the Sardinian traditions in Cagliari and they have a very long history. The desserts prepared in the restaurant in Cagliari tell the story of the Sardinian people, traditions and products. Simple desserts prepared with genuine, tasty and local ingredients, which are traditional and for this reason popular and appreciated also far from the island of Sardinia.
The papassinus are very famous and known all over the region as pabassinas or papassini, depending on the area where they are prepared. These small pastries have the etymology of their main ingredient, the raisin, and were traditionally prepared on November, 2nd or for the St. Anthony’s celebration on January, 17th. They are traditionally baked in the brick oven and may be found in most of the pastry shops of the island.
The seadas are also part of the Sardinian traditions. They are also called sebadas and probably are the most famous Sardinian pastries. Very popular in Sardinia, they are well known also in the rest of Italy.
The ingredients of these delicious fried pastries highlight their humble origins: goat cheese, pastry and lard and the honey that cover these delicious dumplings. Their perfume and flavour guide you in an amazing journey in their home lands of Barbagia and Logudoro.