Sa panada is the name of a savoury dish that is typical of Sardinia, specifically of the Assemini area in the province of Cagliari.
Also known as panadine (when served in small portions), Sardinian panada is a ‘basket’ made of a pastry called “violada dough” which can be filled in various ways: with lamb meat, eel and potatoes, or vegetables.
Panada is a rich and tasty dish, perfect as a starter or as a main course. If you want to prepare it, follow the steps in this recipe for lamb panada.
The first step in preparing panada is to make the violada dough: mix whole wheat semolina flour and lard in a bowl. After a few minutes, add the salted lukewarm water. Knead the dough extensively until you obtain a smooth, firm compound, which you will shape into a ball, wrap in film and leave in the fridge to rest for at least one hour.
In the meantime, prepare the ingredients for the filling: peel and wash the potatoes, then chop them into large pieces. Dice the lamb and the pecorino. Finely mince the parsley, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes.
After one hour, take the dough out of the fridge and divide it into two pieces: a larger one that will form the base of your panada, and a smaller one, around 1/3 of the size of the first, which will be the lid. Roll out the bigger piece until you obtain a circular sheet of pastry, 5mm thick and 36 cm in diameter. Place this in a round flare-lip baking dish greased with butter, then start to fill it.
Start by creating a layer with the minced parsley, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes, then one layer with diced potatoes and another with pecorino. Add a little olive oil and continue with a layer of lamb meat. You may wish to add a little salt, but be careful not to overdo this since pecorino and lamb meat are already very salty. Build three more layers with the potatoes, pecorino cheese, lamb and the remaining chopped seasoning and fold the edges of your panada.
Roll out the second piece of dough until you get a disc that is big enough to cover the filling but smaller than the baking dish. Place it on top of your panada and press with your fingers to create the typical crease, and attach the edges of the lid to the edges of the ‘basket’. Brush with egg yolk. Pre-heat the oven to 200° and bake your panada for 30 minutes; then turn the temperature down to 180° and let it cook for another hour. Once ready, remove your panada from the oven and let it cool a little before serving. Enjoy your meal!
For the “violada” dough:
• Whole wheat semolina flour 800 g
• Lard 80/100 g
• Lukewarm water as required
• Salt 5 g
• Egg yolk 1
For the filling:
• Lamb meat 800 g
• Potatoes 1 kg
• Monreale Fattorie Girau pecorino 100 g
• Sun-dried tomatoes 6
• Parsley 1 sprig
• Bay leaf 1
• Extra virgin olive oil as required
• Salt as required