Weeknight Cooking

Maloreddus with Anchovies, Orange, and Malvasia

May  7, 2012

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. 

Shop the Story

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

Listen Now

Join The Sandwich Universe co-hosts (and longtime BFFs) Molly Baz and Declan Bond as they dive deep into beloved, iconic sandwiches.

Listen Now

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Shannon
  • Lisa @bitesforbabies
    Lisa @bitesforbabies
  • sfmiller
  • mariaraynal
  • Meatballs&Milkshakes

Written by: Jestei

The ratio of people to cake is too big.


Shannon July 13, 2023
The link for what the pasta should like like dry is broken 😔
Lisa @. September 14, 2012
How is it that you know about maloreddus?? Are you Sardinian??
Meatballs&Milkshakes September 14, 2012
No, just a big Mario Batali fan and I've been to Sardinia! So beautiful!
Lisa @. September 15, 2012
Where exactly? I'm lucky to go every summer to the Costa Smeralda to visit family (my husband is from Sardinia!) btw, loooove malloreddus! ;-)
Meatballs&Milkshakes September 15, 2012
We drove from Cagliari all the way up the eastern coast to the Costa Smeralda....jealous you get to go every year!!
Lisa @. September 14, 2012
How is it that you know about maloreddus?? Are you Sardinian??
sfmiller May 13, 2012
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.
Jestei May 14, 2012
mariaraynal May 7, 2012
I would never, ever be prejudiced against pasta. And this version sounds fabulous.
Jestei May 8, 2012
thanks i bet you would love this
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.
Thanks Jenny! Glad you liked my recipe!!
Jestei May 8, 2012
It was a winner in my household!
Jestei May 7, 2012
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!
pierino May 7, 2012
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).