La tavola di Natale in Sardegna: le ricette della tradizione e i prodotti tipici

The Christmas table in Sardinia: traditional recipes and typical products

The Christmas table in Sardinia: all the authentic flavours of the Holidays

Christmas, “Sa Paschixedda”, on the island is a magical day to spend with the family enjoying the rich and delicious dishes of the tradition.

It is the time for conviviality, family get-togethers, being close to loved ones and celebrating, today as in the past, with an eye to the ancient traditions and “mystical and tribal” rites inherited from the celebration of the “Winter Solstice”: Christmas, “Sa Paschixedda”,  in Sardinia is an all-encompassing experience that has its roots in the past of the agro-pastoral society.

At that time, men returned home from ‘la transumanza’ only a few days before Christmas and, finally, on the evening of Christmas Eve (Sa nott’è e xena, “hot night”) all the family members gathered around the fireplace with specially painted walls and, while the elders told stories and legends to entertain the little ones,  a frugal meal was eaten to emphasize the joy of such precious moments.

In the meantime, “su truncu e’xena” burned on the fire, a large log of wood kept for the occasion that had to burn for the entire holiday period, until the Epiphany without ever being extinguished, as a sign of health and prosperity.

Su Naschimentu, the nativity scene, is another essential which here has a tradition that is linked to the Capuchin and Franciscan worlds. It was marked by simplicity as there were only baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the ox and the donkey, and a few shepherds with sheep. Olive branches, myrtle, mastic and moss are the backdrop.

December 25th as a date has always had the meaning of “domestic warmth”, “family” and “children” on the island which has reserved and reserves an important role for them, with the possibility of staying up late listening to stories and a wide range of games designed to spend hours of fun and leisure.

But also a special day to enjoy the pleasures of the exquisite Sardinian cuisine with a hearty meal characterized by typical recipes among which the delicious traditional desserts stand out.

The specialities that make Christmas in Sardinia unique

As mentioned, the undisputed protagonist of Sardinian Christmas is the holiday table, full of tasty and varied dishes, from appetizers to first and second courses, to desserts, essential to make the atmosphere even more magical.

Let’s start with the first courses that are unique and cannot be found elsewhere, to be enjoyed only on the island: a timeless classic are the culurgiones, homemade ravioli in the shape of a crescent, a symbol of respect and affection, closed with a pinch of the fingers so that they resemble the ear of corn. The filling varies from area to area (onions, pecorino cheese, eggs, saffron, potatoes, sheep or goat ricotta, chard, Sardinian pecorino or spinach) while the dressing includes tomato sauce and a sprinkling of grated aged cheese.

Also typical are the malloreddus, the Sardinian gnocchi with the shape of an elongated shell, prepared with semolina and water for hundreds of years and savoured with sausage and saffron ragout according to the traditional recipe that calls them “malloreddus alla campidanese”.

Again, the table is embellished by lamb broth served hot with a slice of cheese and celery, potatoes and carrots, spaghetti with fish and vegetables, and fregula, durum wheat semolina pasta produced in Sardinia in the form of balls of various sizes, perfect to accompany seafood sauces.

On the other hand, taking a look at the main courses, we find a triumph of meats and, in particular, of lamb roasted on a spit whose cooking begins two hours before lunch. The head of the family has the task of preparing “sa cordula” by skewering the liver, heart and lungs of the lamb on a skewer, which must be cooked slowly.

Then, twist the animal’s intestines on the spit and continue cooking until it takes on a golden colour and a crunchy texture.

And if there is an alternative to the classic lamb, it is represented by roast suckling pig or kid or grilled eels, boiled shellfish or grilled fish and vegetables.

Finally, the Christmas table is filled with desserts, which contain all the goodness of the most magical time of the year.

The absolute protagonists, in addition to Sardinian nougat whose key ingredients are honey and almonds,  macaroons and homemade cakes, are pabassinas, shortbread biscuits enriched with almonds, raisins, walnuts, honey, grated lemon zest and, according to some variations, even vanilla or cinnamon.

Equally delicious are the Pan’è Saba, a sweet bread prepared for important occasions made with flour, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, raisins, saba liqueur (cooked must) and cinnamon, and the bianchiunus (Sardinian bianchini) or sweets similar to the classic meringues from which they differ in the presence of toasted almonds and lemon zest as well as the consistency once cooked.

All washed down with the fine wines of Sardinia, internationally renowned.

The taste of tradition and innovation at Forte Village

An excellent choice for enjoying a holiday on the island between the white beach and the crystal clear Caribbean sea, Forte Village Resort in Santa Margherita di Pula offers its guests, in addition to maximum comfort, well-being, sports opportunities and privacy, 21 Michelin starred restaurants where you can be delighted by the best of traditional Sardinian cuisine but also discover new flavours and aromas thanks to an eye for innovation and dishes from other countries.

This is where even the most refined palates will be enraptured by a delicious gourmet cuisine based on fresh, genuine and zero-kilometre ingredients, many of which come directly from the resort’s vegetable garden, testifying to the passion and respect for nature.

Would you like to taste the best of the Christmas table in Sardinia and enjoy a fairytale holiday in an authentic paradise? Discover the Forte Village Resort in Sardinia

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