Spizzulus | Sardinian Wine Pasta Recipe
This handmade pasta is quite simple to make, but results in a beautiful shape that your family and friends will swear came out of a machine! The pasta is unusual in that the dough is traditionally made with flour and... wine!
Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:
To make the pasta, you will need:
- 1 2/3 cup (200g) semolina flour, plus extra for dusting
- 6 tbsp (90ml) red wine
- 2/3 tbsp (10ml) water
- A gnocchi board
To make the sauce, you will need:
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1/4 white onion, diced
- 1 large pork sausage (preferably with minimal seasoning, but use what you can get)
- Fresh black pepper
- 4 tbsp (60ml) red wine
- 3-4 fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup (240g) whole peeled tomatoes, crushed with a fork
- 1/2 cup (120ml) water
- Grated pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for topping
Pour the flour into a pile on a smooth work surface. Hollow out the center so that the flour forms a volcano shape. Into the center depression, add the wine and water. Using a fork, whisk the water while gradually incorporating the surrounding flour. When a thick goop forms, use your hands to fold in the rest of the flour and knead the dough by hand.
Continue to knead until the dough is smooth, soft and even, but not sticky. The amount of flour needed can vary, so don't worry if the dough doesn't incorporate all of the flour (or requires a little more). The pasta is smart and will take what it wants!
Wrap the finished dough in plastic and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
After the dough has rested, it's time to form the shape! We recommend working in batches. Cut off a manageable section of the dough (about 1/3-1/2) and keep the rest wrapped in plastic.
Roll one end of the dough with your hands into a "snake." It should be quite thin, about half a pinky's width. Cut a piece off that is about 3-inches (7.6cm) long. Lay this across the ridged surface of your gnocchi board.
Place the back edge of a butter knife along the length of the pasta strand. Gently press down and roll the knife toward you. The result should be a ridged semi-tube of pasta. Fold the strand in half and pinch the ends together to form the final shape. Set aside on a plate or baking sheet and continue until all of the dough has been made into pasta.
To make the sauce, add the olive oil, garlic clove and onion into a skillet over medium heat. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is tender and slightly transparent.
Cut open the sausage lining and squeeze the meat into the pan. Brown the meat while breaking it up into a fine crumble with a wooden spoon. When the pork is browned, add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
Add the red wine, lower the heat and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the smell of alcohol has dissipated.
Remove and discard the garlic clove, tear in the basil, and add the tomatoes and water. Bring to a simmer again and cook, partially covered, for 25-30 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Taste it again and add salt if necessary. Turn off the heat until the pasta is cooked.
Bring a large pot of water to boil and salt it generously. Add the pasta and stir once or twice to prevent sticking. Boil the pasta until it is "al dente" to your taste (about 6-8 minutes, depending on the thickness).
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pasta into the sauce. Stir all together over medium/high heat. If the sauce seems too thick, thin it with a spoonful or two of pasta water.
Serve immediately, topped with grated pecorino cheese. Buon appetito!