Weeknights with Jenny

Maloreddus with Anchovies, Orange, and Malvasia

By • May 7, 2012 • 16 Comments

Jenny is in perpetual search for easy, weeknight recipes to attempt to feed her family. When they balk, she just eats more.

Maloreddus with Anchovies, Orange, and Malvasia

I feel it is very important for you not to feel prejudiced against pasta just because it resembles the slug at the bottom of a Mezcal bottle and has a name that makes you think of odors. 

Those were my original issues with Maloreddus with Anchovies, Orange, and Malvasia and had I stayed so inexplicably prejudiced I might have become the subject of a Supreme Court case! Or just remained hungry. 

The thing is, I couldn’t actually find maloreddus or malvasia, but that did not stop me from making this incredibly simple and weirdly exciting dish. 

Let me tell you, I made the effort people! I went to the local Italian grocery store, which I emerged from carrying a bag of pasta that was literally as tall as my 8-year-old, a ton of delicious anchovies and gnocchetti rustici, which the storekeeper recommended as the best possible substitute for maloreddus, pasta from Sardinia fashioned from Semolina Flour. The FOOD52 team ended up using fusili, which we won't hold against them (but this is what the pasta should look like).

My first tip: do not be fooled by the tiny small size of this pasta. It takes a solid ten minutes to cook, and undercooking it will leave you with a hard slightly unpleasant center. Get that water boiling right away, as you cut up your anchovies, onions, garlic, and zest that orange. A cup of pasta for four seemed too little for my family; I upped the pasta to about a cup and half, and added an extra anchovy or two to the sauce, but that’s because I am aggressive with my bottom feeding fish. 

While all your stuff comes together in the sauce pan, you will slowly add some pasta water while you wait for those wormy guys too cook up. I put up some nice asparagus from the market as a side, even though I understand perfectly well that is not really done. I deglazed my pan with the orange juice and a sauvignon blanc, though if you can get a dessert wine I do recommend it. 

When your pasta is finally cooked, you toss it in your sauce, slicking it all up and making sure to get those lovely bits of onions. I do agree with Meatballs&Milkshakes that you need to top this with the best olive oil you have. How about fruity and sweet Sicilian oil? No? Give it the best you’ve got. Careful with your orange zest – it quickly becomes the star of this dish if you use a heavy hand, kind of like Jenna pushing Liz Lemon out of the scene. 

I never thought about anchovies with orange. Why is that? Is it because I spend most of my time holed up in my DC kitchen thinking about new ways to perfect a chocolate chip cookie? I don’t know really, but this dish is going into the rotation. In a pinch, I’ll use fusilli.

Maloreddus with Anchovies, Orange, and Malvasia by Meatballs&Milkshakes

Serves 4

1 cup Maloreddus, uncooked
3 anchovies
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
Zest and juice of 1 orange
2 ounces Malvasia

See the full recipe (and save it and print it) here.

Photo by James Ransom

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Tags: everyday cooking

Comments (16)

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almost 2 years ago Lisa @bitesforbabies

How is it that you know about maloreddus?? Are you Sardinian??

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almost 2 years ago Meatballs&Milkshakes

No, just a big Mario Batali fan and I've been to Sardinia! So beautiful!

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almost 2 years ago Lisa @bitesforbabies

Where exactly? I'm lucky to go every summer to the Costa Smeralda to visit family (my husband is from Sardinia!) btw, loooove malloreddus! ;-)

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almost 2 years ago Meatballs&Milkshakes

We drove from Cagliari all the way up the eastern coast to the Costa Smeralda....jealous you get to go every year!!

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almost 2 years ago Lisa @bitesforbabies

How is it that you know about maloreddus?? Are you Sardinian??

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about 2 years ago sfmiller

I think A Litteri on Morse Street (in the market district below 6th St NE and New York Avenue) has maloreddus. Even if it doesn't, if you haven't been it's well worth a pilgrimage for Italian pantry staples and deli items.

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about 2 years ago Jestei

totally!

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about 2 years ago mariaraynal

I would never, ever be prejudiced against pasta. And this version sounds fabulous.

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about 2 years ago Jestei

thanks i bet you would love this

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about 2 years ago Meatballs&Milkshakes

You can also mail order them, Di Palo Selects has a website too. But any smallish pasta would be a good substitute. Even a fregola or farro would work.

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about 2 years ago Meatballs&Milkshakes

Thanks Jenny! Glad you liked my recipe!!

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about 2 years ago Jestei

It was a winner in my household!

_mg_0362

about 2 years ago Jestei

For those of us out of NY compromises must be made but I found that gnocchetti rustici was almost exactly the same thing. My dish looked just like the author's original post. Would love to read a recipe for making them at home as I bet it would be super fun!

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about 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Another great recipe Jenny, I too would never have thought to pair anchovies with orange but it sounds great. Congrats to M&M and thank you for highlighting this great pasta dish.

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about 2 years ago Jestei

I hope you like it. Remember you can be generous with any of the ingredients!

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about 2 years ago pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

Jenny, the recipe sounds great. I was about to say, "those aren't maloreddus" but then I read your disclaimer about fusili. Maloreddus are indeed a pasta shape unique to Sardegna and they can be difficult to find. Try Eataly. They are actually not too hard to make by hand if you can find the proper tool (you can improvise using a comb).