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Homemade lorighittas with chicken ragu
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5 from 12 votes

Homemade lorighittas with chicken ragu. A traditional recipe from Sardinia

This beautiful homemade braided pasta is a traditional pasta from Sardinia where it has been made since the 16th century. The free-range chicken sauce is also traditional and together they are a unique pasta dish that your family and friends will fall in love with! Definitely worth making!
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Homemade Pasta, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean, Sardinia
Keyword: authentic Italian pasta recipe, chicken, chicken ragu, homemade pasta, lorighittas
Servings: 4
Calories: 620kcal
Author: Jacqueline De Bono

Ingredients

For the semolina pasta dough

  • 300 g durum wheat semolina flour (10.5 ozs)
  • 2 ladles warm water
  • 1 pinch salt

For the free-range chicken ragu

  • 1 kg free-range chicken (2.2lbs) or 2 small ones cut into pieces
  • 1 onion peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and choppped
  • 1 glass red wine
  • 700 g tomato pulp or passata (1.5lbs)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 handful fresh parsley
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 handful fresh basil
  • 5 fresh sage leaves
  • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.
  • 100 g Pecorino (3.5ozs)

Instructions

Make your homemade lorighittas

  • Boil some water, measure out 2 ladles, add a generous pinch of salt and let the water cool slightly. It still needs to be warm when making the dough. Put the semolina flour into a bowl, add the warm salted water a bit at a time whilst using your hand or a fork to mix the flour and water together. Once you have a ‘dough’ turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. I use a wooden pastry board. You may not need all the water as you don’t want it to be very wet.
  • Continue to work and knead the dough until it is soft, supple and just slightly tacky. Roll it into a ball and then wrap it in a sheet of cling film or a cotton kitchen towel and let it rest for at least 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • When you are ready to make your lorighittas, cut off a small piece of the dough and stretch and roll it with the palms of your hands until you get a strand with a diameter slightly larger than a strand of bucatini. (also about the size of a US size 3/ UK size 10 knitting needle!) Don’t worry if a bit bigger. You’ll get better at it. Mine were quite thick. My hubby’s were better! The important thing is the strands don’t break.
  • Roll the strand around the index, middle and ring fingers of one hand making two loops, join the two ends by pressing with your fingertips to obtain a double ring, then intertwine the two rings on themselves to obtain a single braided ring. (Hold the rings where they are joined then gently take one ring and weave it in and out the other). Repeat with the rest of the dough.
  • Place the ready lorighittas on a floured tray or cotton kitchen towel until you have made them all.

Make the free-range chicken ragu

  • Cut the chicken into relatively small pieces (quarters if using small birds). Peel and chop the onion and garlic. Chop the rosemary, parsley, basil and sage.
  • Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a heavy pan (I used my Dutch oven) and brown the chicken pieces on both sides. You may have to do it in batches. Add the bay leaves, finely chopped onion, garlic and rosemary and continue cooking for a few minutes, then add the red wine and let the alcohol evaporate for a few moments.
  • Add the tomato pulp/passata and a teaspoon of sugar, season with salt and pepper and cook covered over a low-medium heat for at least 1 hour. Once the chicken is cooked, add the coarsely chopped parsley, basil and sage to the sauce. Mix everything together. Cook for a couple more minutes. Remove the chicken pieces from the sauce before adding the cooked pasta.

Finish and serve.

  • Add the pasta to a pot of boiling salted water. Stir gently to stop it sticking to the bottom and then wait for pasta rings to rise to the surface. Depending on the thickness of your lorighittas, they should be ready 2-3 minutes after rising to the surface. Try one before removing them all. You may have to cook the pastai n batches not to overcrowd the pot. In that case, remove the ready pasta from the water using a slotted spoon. Add it to the sauce and cook another batch.
  • After adding the cooked pasta to the sauce. Mix carefully and plate with a chicken piece or two per person. Serve with grated Pecorino (preferably Pecorino Sardo)

Notes

This free-range chicken ragu is good with other types of pasta or even with potatoes, rice or just bread!
Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for a day or two and reheated. The pasta maintains its consistency even after a couple of days.