Sa panada is the name of a savoury dish that is typical of Sardinia, specifically of the Assemini area in the province of Cagliari.
The Sardinian panada is a sort of ‘basket’ made with a pastry called “violada dough” which can be filled in various ways: with lamb meat, eels and potatoes, or vegetables.
Panada is a very tasty dish, perfect as a second course. If you want to prepare it, follow all the steps in this recipe for eel panada.
The first step when cooking panada is to prepare the “violada dough”: pour the semolina and lard into a bowl and start kneading, gradually adding the lukewarm salted water. Work the dough extensively until it is smooth and firm, roll it into a ball, wrap it in film and let it rest in the fridge for at least one hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the ingredients for the filling: rub the eels with plenty of rock salt, rinse them under running water and clean, removing the head and guts. Cut them into pieces 10cm long and place them in a baking pan.
Chop the sun-dried tomatoes, parsley and garlic and add extra virgin olive oil. Pour this seasoning onto the eels and spread it well. Don’t add salt, as the sun-dried tomatoes will provide enough.
After one hour, retrieve the dough and divide it into two parts: a bigger one which will form the base for your eel panada and a second one, 1/3 the size of the first, which will be the lid. Roll out the larger piece with a rolling pin to get a round sheet of pastry 5mm in thickness and around 36cm in diameter. Place the pastry in a round, flare-lipped baking tray with a diameter of around 26cm that you have previously greased with butter. Press the pastry so that it adheres to the tray, then start to fill it.
Start by placing half of the eels in the middle of the disc and coat them with grated pecorino. Continue to add the eels in a pyramid shape and top them with pecorino. Add a little olive oil.
Roll out the second piece of dough to form a disc big enough to cover the filling, but smaller than the diameter of the baking tray. Put it on top of the filling and stick the edges together by pressing with your fingers to create the typical crease. Pre-heat the oven to 200° and bake for around 30 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 180° and cook for another hour. Once ready, remove your eel panada from the oven and let it cool before serving. Enjoy your meal!
ingredientS FOR 6 people
For the violada dough:
- Whole wheat semolina 800 g
- Lard 80/100 g
- Lukewarm wateras required
- Salt5 g
- Egg yolk 1
For the filling:
- Eels 1 kg
- Sun-dried tomatoes 4
- Pecorino Monreale Fattorie Girau100 g
- Garlic 1 clove
- Parsley 1 sprig
- Extra virgin olive oilas required