Carasau bread is the typical bread of the Barbagia, hard and thin of large circular shape that last several months. In some families carasau bread is still produced in the typical wood fired ovens. Ollolai, Dorgali, Nuoro, Orani are just some of the towns where this type of bread is produced. Nowadays the carasau can be easily found in both national and international supermarkets; you can also find it in Borough Market, near London Bridge, where a guy from Alghero sells it.
One of the simplest recipes, a must try if you come back from Sardinia with at least some of this bread or if you can find it in your supermarket, is Su Pani Frattau or Frattau Bread, a typical dish from Barbagia made with carasau bread.
Quick and easy, if you don’t have much time this recipe replaces pasta very well and is an almost complete dish. As the sheep broth is used to make the recipe below, it will take you a little more time; however, this can be replaced with boiling salted water as if you were making pasta.
Sardinia Recipe of Su pani frattau
Ingredients for 4 people
Carasau bread or Carta da Musica (music paper, a kind of bread very similar to Carasau)| Salt | Tomato sauce | Pecorino Cheese| 1 egg
Ingredients for the sheep broth:
Sheep meat (shoulder, neck, belly) | 1 Onion | 1 Carrot | 1 Celery | 1 Clove of garlic | Laurel leaves and / or wild fennel | Parsley | Salt | Oil
Put the chopped onions, the crushed garlic privated of its internal bud, the chopped celery and the carrot in the pan with some oil and let it brown. After a few minutes, add the sheep meat and bones cut into pieces. As soon as they become externally cooked add, at least one liter of water, salt and a sprig of wild fennel if you have some. Let it boil for at least 2 hours, occasionally skimming and degreasing.
When the broth is made …. you are ready for the rest of the recipe!
Prepare a few sheets of Carasau bread , some grated pecorino cheese and some ready tomato sauce. Place an empty plate next to the pot of broth where you will prepare the dish.
Rekindle the broth, make sure it is hot enough (in case of salted water bring it to the boil). Dip a sheet of carasau bread for a few seconds, drain it with a slotted spoon, pour it into the pot and place over the bread a bit of tomato sauce, some grated pecorino cheese while you have put anothet sheet of bread into the boiling broth. Do this at least to your taste, taking care to place a layer of bread soaked in broth, a layer of sauce and a layer of cheese.
Last, break a fresh egg into the boiling broth and take it with the slotted spoon after 1 minute, without clearing the egg white, in short a poached egg. Put it it over the layers of Frattau bread et voilà … your dish is ready.
The dish is rich and structured especially if the sheep broth is accompanied by a single-grape Cannonau wine from Mamoiada, recently presented but surprising for the freshness of its taste. Its the Cannonau Orturù by Carlo Tramaloni, a monovarietal 14 degrees wine.
Enjoy your meal!