Asset 2
Attention icon

For help with Local or Nationwide Delivery and Click and Collect orders please email or call 07393 742 704

Chef Francesco is from Sardinia, a beautiful island in the South of Italy. He has a background in cooking, having spent 7 years as a Chef in Italy, Australia and London. He is now a Senior Teaching Chef for some of the top cookery schools in London.

For Chef Francesco, being Italian, Italian cuisine is his passion. He has a developed, rustic Italian cooking style based on memories from his childhood – cooking with his Nonna, working on the farm and fishing with his Granddad.

All of Chef Francesco’s recipes are original, traditional and based on the best ingredients.

Italian food is one of the most beloved cuisines in the world. But, you don't need to go out to eat or travel to Italy to eat the real deal anymore. Learn how to make the most authentic, rustic Italian food in your home with this masterclass from Italian chef, Francesco Mattana.

In this episode we’re making a typical Sardinian pasta called malloreddus, which means “small gnocchi”. The saffron will give an intense yellow colour to the pasta dough and a kind of light sweet aroma to it.

Sardinian Gnocchi with clams, cherry tomato and bottarga is the perfect combination of flavours from the sea and the land.

Sardinian saffron is one of the most precious spices in the world, we call it “red gold”. Because saffron is very common in Sardinia, we use it to make some of our most traditional dishes such as gnocchetti sardi, malloreddus, pardulas - it’s used for seafood, meat, pasta – even dessert!


  • 150g malloreddus sardi
  • 100g clams
  • 10g parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp bottarga
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 6 cherry tomatoes - halved
  • Salt and pepper
  • 200g of durum wheat semolina (plus extra for dusting)
  • 200ml of warm water
  • A pinch of fresh saffron pistils


  1. If you have time, you can make the semolina saffron dough for the malloreddus pasta. For a quicker recipe, you can buy any dry small pasta shape.
  2. Heat a pan over a medium-high heat. In succession, add the olive oil, garlic, chilli and cherry tomatoes.
  3. After 5 minutes, add the clams and cover with a lid.
  4. Cook the fresh pasta until it’s “al dente”.
  5. Once cooked, add the pasta to the sauce. Once the clams are nice and open, add parsley and olive oil and then stir.
  6. Plate and top with bottarga to serve.
  7. If you are making the fresh saffron pasta, first you add the saffron to your warm water and give it a stir.
  8. Add the semolina to a bowl, slowly add in the middle of the semolina flour the saffron water and stir with a fork.
  9. As soon you have a kind of crumbly dough, transfer the mixture onto your worktable.
  10. Using both hands, start kneading the dough, stretching it and folding it back.
  11. If the dough is a little sticky, add a pinch of semolina and knead again until it's less sticky. Remember, if you add too much semolina to the dough it will become very dry and impossible to work with, so add semolina only if you need it and if the dough is too wet to work with.
  12. Knead the dough for about 8 - 10 mins.
  13. You know your dough is ready when it is nice and smooth with a little bounce back if you poke it with your finger.
  14. At this point, cover the dough with cling film and let it rest for 30 minutes in the fridge. Alternatively, you can leave it up to 2 days in the fridge.
  15. If you want to make your pasta straight away, you can leave the dough to rest outside of the fridge for at least 5 minutes instead of in the fridge, but always cover it in cling film. However, it will be easier to roll your pasta dough if you've left it in the fridge for 30 minutes first.
  16. Once the dough has rested, it's ready for you to shape!