Bona Furtuna has long sought out the best and hardest to find products from throughout Italy. Naturally, when we heard of some Sardinian pasta shapes that can only be made by hand and only a few people who still know the tradition, we became curious. After a year of searching our team found a producer in the tiny Sardinian town of Usini who was producing these centuries-old pasta shapes. From the braided ring of Lorighittas, hand-rolled Ciccioneddos, and offset corkscrew Andarinos, these hyper-local pasta shapes have survived only by being passed down from practiced hands. As we learned, techniques to produce these shapes are all but lost except for a few women that learned to craft them. This rare skill has been handed down for generations, almost always from mother to daughter. Because these pastas are so labor intensive they are only made for the grandest of occasions.
Each shape has its own story. Ciccioneddos are the Sardinian equivalent of cavatelli or gnocchi, originating from the town of Ittiri and being used for special days like weddings. The fun, braided Lorighittas were born from the town of Morgongiori and carefully crafted to celebrate All Saints’ Day. There is no other pasta even remotely like it. Lastly, Andarinos di Usini, impossibly hard to create, are rolled out one by one over a cavarola board to show off a spiraled texture perfect for clinging to lamb ragu.
Why create them by hand? Because no machine can do it. Indeed, these shapes are more akin to what you would find in restaurants with chefs who’ve trained for years crafting handmade tortellini or agnolotti. To preserve the heritage of these shapes a few community members in the town of Usini, led by Salvatore Pais, began producing these shapes to sell to local specialty stores and chefs. Rarely, would these shapes move beyond the island of Sardinia. Upon contacting Salvatore, we began to understand just how difficult it would be to create a program for these hand-rolled and twisted shapes, and why we would be the first to attempt bringing them into the US. Producing only 5kg (11 lbs) of dried pasta a day, to import only 400 boxes of each shape would take nearly 4 months of production (for reference, Barilla produces 1,400 tons of pasta per day). Our new partnership would take time, but we understood the positive impacts sharing these unknown pasta shapes would have for this small Sardinian community. Discovery, preservation and celebration of irreplaceable traditions that may otherwise be lost.
We are honored to now share these unique, authentic Sardinian pastas for the first time in the US. Each individual pasta shape has been handcrafted by deft fingers and dried slowly & carefully in the Mediterranean sun. Over two years has passed since we first learned of Lorighittas, Ciccioneddos, and Andarinos, but we are excited to offer these exclusively to you now. We welcome you to share in tasting these time-honored pastas from the remote, mountainous village of Usini. Taste the rich history and escape to Sardinia in every bite. Mangiamo.