I've visited Sardinia a couple of times and loved the rustic food, the vernaccia and cannanou wines, the dramatic terrain and sunny Mediterranean climate. When I'm home in San Francisco and need a Sardinian fix, I head straight to La Ciccia. I even hate to write about it for fear that more people will discover it!
Lorella Degan and Massimiliano Conti performed miracles there last night in the dining room and kitchen! What a dinner,- a tribute to the pig!
We started with little roasted triangles of pancetta drizzled with arugula pesto. They had a crunchy exterior but melted in your mouth. Next, was a platter of the most delicious salumi, some house made, some from Italy, along with pickled onions, carrots, fennel, celery and briny black olives.
The pasta was to die for. Some enthusiastic diners at our communal table called it gnochetti while others swore it's called malloreddus. Malloraddus is shaped like a little canoe with more grooves on the bottom to catch the sauce. Originally those grooves were made by pressing the pasta into a straw basket but now they are pretty much machine-made. The ragu was so unbelievably delicious. Imagine stewed pork loin, sausage and pancetta with tomatoes and a tiny hint of fennel and pepper. The wine was flowing so I'm not sure that anyone noticed I helped myself to thirds!
And then out of the kitchen came Massimiliano flaunting the perfectly roasted suckling pig. In Sardinia, this is called porceddu, a traditional dish simply made with a touch of rosemary and salt and served with raw vegetables and an herb vinaigrette. For dessert (as if we needed it).... fresh ricotta with Sardinian honey and toasted sliced almonds.
I woke up today with a smile on my face until I got on the scale!