Italian Regional Recipes Primi Piatti: Pasta, Rice, Soups

Zuppa Gallurese – The Sardinian Lasagna with Carasau Bread

This preparation takes its name from the Gallura area in Northwest Sardinia, although it is also widespread in other parts of the Island.

The Italian word ‘Zuppa’ stands for ‘Soup’, although expecting a classic soup when being served a Zuppa Gallurese could leave you wondering: indeed meat broth, traditionally that from sheep, is one of the ingredients, but it is used to soak the dry and crunchy Carasau Bread which absorbs it all, and the result is closer to a lasagna than to a proper soup.

Traditional broth for the Gallurese Soup is made from sheep meat, but you’re welcome to use the kind of meat you prefer. We recommend beef.

The cheeses traditionally used are Sardinian Pecorino and Caciocavallo, but there are excellent alternatives for those who do not have easy access to these ingredients outside Sardinia. Better to choice matured cheeses as Provolone or Caciotta work fine and so many other meltable cheeses. Not Mozzarella though, sorry.

The delicate touch of freshness given by the chopped mint mixed with parsley then is just heady.

If you’re wondering what Carasau bread is, just head over to our recipe to find out: Carasau – Sardinian Crunchy Flat Bread.


Serves: 4 | Preparation time: 15 mins | Cooking time: 20 – 25 mins

  • Meat broth: about 1 litre
  • Carasau bread: 500 g
  • Pecorino Cheese, sliced: 200 g or Provolone or Caciotta or Scamorza
  • Pecorino, grated: 180 g
  • Mint, fresh: 4-5 leaves
  • Parsley, fresh: a bunch
  • Nutmeg: ½ tsp
  • Salt: ½ tsp

Method

Prepare the meat broth.

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

Mince both parsley and mint leaves, place into a bowl with grated Pecorino cheese, nutmeg, salt. Mix thoroughly.

Break the Carasau bread into random pieces not too little and cover with them the bottom of a baking dish slighlty oiled.

Cover Carasau pieces with a layer of Pecorino slices or Provolone or any meltable cheese you have at hand, except Mozzarella since it does not go well with this recipe.

Spread a handful of the chopped parsley/mint/Pecorino mix on top.

Make as many layers of bread and cheese as you can and pour in the hot broth, making sure to evenly wet the Carasau bread which will become soft in no time when it comes into contact with the hot broth, as will do the cheese, which will already tend to soften. Just take care not to turn the mixture into a mushy. Pour in a little at a time and measure it out.

Spread some grated Pecorino and parsley on top of the last layer and then cook Zuppa Gallurese for 20 – 25 mins until a crust will form on top.

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