Saffron Malloreddus Pasta with Butter Sage and Parmigiano-Reggiano Recipe



1 pound Saffron Melloreddus Pasta (or pasta of your choosing) - cooked al-dente - reserve some of the pasta water.

Sea salt - for the pasta water

4-5 Tbs European style quality butter

6-8 whole, fresh sage leaves

1 cup about 3 oz - because volume depends on your grater - grated  Parmigiano-Reggiano

More grated Parmigiano-Reggiano on top when serving.


Saffron Malloreddus Pasta with Butter, Sage and Parmigiano-Reggiano Recipe

4-6 servings

This recipe is really an amalgamation of two recipe from Marcella Hazan's cookbook, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking - our go-to cookbook for Italian recipes - and a recipe from Letitia Clark’s new Sardinian cookbook, Bitter Honey.

You can think of it as taking Marcella's "Butter and Parmisan Cheese Sauce" (one of our favs!) and adding fresh sage. Marcella would make this dish in a well warmed mixing bowl, but we prefer Letitia’s method of mixing it in a hot pan with the melted butter. One less bowl to wash, and the added heat helps ensure the cheese melts well and covers the pasta.

We’ve chosen the classic Sardinian Malloreddus Saffron Pasta and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

At the end of the day this is a quick, beautiful to look at (because of the saffron Malloreddus pasta), and distinctly Sardinian tasting "adult" mac n' cheese without having to make a béchamel sauce. It is so easy! 


1. Add pasta to a pot of boiling, well-salted water. Cook until al dente - about 10 minutes  

2. While pasta is cooking, put butter in a large skillet and place on medium-low to medium heat. When the butter foam subsides, and the butter is a golden yellow (but not yet brown,) add the sage leaves. Cook for another few seconds, turning the sage leaves over once.

3. Add freshly cooked (ie. hot), al dente pasta to the pan and toss well. Add the grated cheese and toss some more. Continue to mix until the cheese melts and clings nicely to the pasta. If pasta looks too dry, add a little of the reserved pasta water and continue to mix on the heat until it looks right. Should look creamy, but not "saucy".

4. Serve with more grated cheese on the side.