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Seadas, the traditional Sardinian recipe: how to prepare them

On the certain origin of seadas it is good not to get too many illusions, because the lines of thought are different and do not seem designed to meet. Suffice it to say that some date back to the recipe at the time of Spanish domination, others to those of Ancient Rome. However, it seems that she was born in the mountains of northern Ogliastra and in those of the Barbagia of Ollolai, where the communities were dedicated to pastoralism. And where the scarce variety of food during the transhumance evidently whetted the ingenuity, to the point of transforming the abundant cheese even into desserts.

Today the most famous of the island, and now widespread everywhere. It’s about that sort of fried dumpling round and sweet – stuffed with stringy pecorino cheeseseasoned with sugar or honey – which is impossible to escape. And since the desire remains, even after leaving Sardinia, we asked for the recipe (slightly adapted due to the national availability of ingredients) from first artisanal «shebaderia» on the island. That is, specialized exclusively in seadas or “sebadas”as they say here.

Keepers of taste: Saseadas

The club calls Saseadas and opened in 2019 at Cagliari , to offer customers a product made with the traditional method and with selected ingredients. In short, it is not a question of the standard seada, perhaps frozen, which is now served in too many local restaurants. To respect tradition, here only Sardinian semolina is used for the pasta – in particular Cappelli wheat, of fine quality and which has not undergone any genetic intervention, characterized by a highly digestible natural gluten. As for the filling: the recipe calls for fresh pecorino, or that cheese of the day which is “extracted” during the seasoning and used after acidification. As for cooking: no fryer, but the pan with spoon cookingbecause that’s how it’s done. Each seada is fried without ever turning it over, cooking the upper part with boiling oil to be poured by spoonfuls. The restaurant is an old warehouse with eighteenth-century juniper beams, stone walls, minimalist furnishings and currently has five specialties on the menu: Saseada the classic one, filled with sheep’s cheese and lemon zest; Sa Signoricedda the most delicate seda, with cow’s cheese and lemon zest; Yellow Sawith saffron dough and a mix of the two cheeses, sheep and cow’s, as a filling; Sa Niedda , with whole wheat Cappelli semolina and a mix of 2 cheeses. And finally the seada stuffed with cow’s milk ricotta and orange zest. Icing on the cake: there is a separate menu with 15 different types of Sardinian honey from which you can choose your favorite type, possibly on advice. Of course, for those who prefer it, there’s the option of sugar. And even that of must or honey sapa. Finally, for those who want to replicate the classic recipe at home, here are the recommendations of Saseadas:

Which cheese to use: «For obvious reasons of availability, in the regions of Italy where it is difficult to get fresh pecorino of the day, which has to be subjected to an acidification process, you can use any soft cow cheese, such as peretta (unseasoned) or dolcesardo . Even the tuma would be fine, perhaps leaving it at room temperature for a day to lose the whey in case it is very fresh».

Which honey to prefer: «The choice is subjective, even if the ideal pairing would be the one with the precious bitter strawberry tree honey, produced in Sardinia, which goes well with cheese. However, many prefer it with sweet honey, and among these we always recommend thistle or eucalyptus honey (we use Nuxis, which won the national category award)».

Which wine to pair: “Definitely a sweet one. In our wine list we only have Sardinian labels and we always recommend Moscato or Nasco di Sardegna, or the sweet Malvasia. The most appreciated dessert wines are the angialis of Argiolas, a passito di nasco, the passito moscato di Dolianova or the hassan, a passito di cannonau».

The seadas recipe

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Ingredients for 10 seadas. For the pasta: 350 g of re-milled Sardinian semolina, 80 g of lard, 100 ml of water, a pinch of salt. For the filling: 500 g of primo sale cheese, lemon zest to taste. Plus: peanut oil for frying, sugar or honey for seasoning.

Method:

  1. Combine the semolina and lard in a large bowl.
  2. Add tepid water slowly until you get a compact dough. Add the salt, preferably dissolved first in warm water.
  3. Move the dough onto a pastry board and work it until you obtain a soft, smooth and homogeneous mixture.
  4. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a dry cloth and let it rest for about 30 minutes.
  5. To prepare the filling for the seadas, the cheese must first be prepared. It must be melted, previously grated or cut into small pieces, in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until it is completely dissolved.
  6. Subsequently, the lemon zest is added to the melted cheese, all with the heat off.
  7. When the cheese is warm it is necessary to spread the mixture on a surface, using the baking paper, and squash the mixture to create a height of about one centimetre. Afterwards. you create disks of cheese with a diameter of about 10-12 cm, using a pastry cutter.
  8. Take the dough back after about 30 minutes. Roll it out with a rolling pin, or with a sheeter, and create a sheet of about 3mm. Then you need to use a cutter (cuppasta) of about 13-15 cm in diameter to cut out the disks.
  9. Arrange the cheese ones in the center of the pasta discs.
  10. Cover everything with a second disc, being careful to press the edges well.
  11. Cut the excess dough with the wheel or with the appropriate mold with wavy edges.
  12. Heat plenty of oil in a pan, once hot (about 180 degrees) fry the seada without ever turning it, but continuing to pour the hot oil with a spoon on the surface.
  13. Remove the seada when the surface is golden and has made the classic bubbles, then drain it and let it dry on absorbent paper
  14. Place the seada on a plate and garnish with the honey or sugar.

The other episodes of the «Traditional Italian recipes»:

Traditional Italian recipes: Tuscan panzanella

Traditional Italian recipes: Ligurian stuffed anchovies

Traditional Italian recipes: the Sicilian Macco di fave

Traditional Italian recipes: Venetian sardines in saor

Traditional Italian recipes: the Valtellina sciatt

Source: Vanity Fair

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