Today I want to share with you the recipe of a very ancient dish: Sa Panada. And when I say “ancient” I mean it, as it appears that it was already known more than 2000 years ago! The name panada literally means “ball” and it is a traditional pie from the region of Sardegna (Sardinia), which is this week’s choice for my Regional Italian dishes series. It was traditionally made with eels, while now you also find panadas with other types of filling. Today I will share with you the recipe for a panada filled with lamb and potatoes, which is another typical filling as Sardegna is famous for lamb and sheep products (especially sheep milk cheeses). It is delicious and I think it also makes a great picnic meal! Enjoy!
Ingredients (for 4 panadas of 10 cm – 4 inches):
For the pastry
350 gms – 12.3 oz. all purpose flour
350 gms – 12.3 oz. durum wheat flour
70 gms – 2.5 oz. lard
1 ¼ tsp salt
For the filling
500 gms – 1.1 lbs lamb, cut into big cubes
500 gms – 1.1 lbs. potatoes, thinly sliced
8 sun-dried tomatoes, minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
50 ml – 1.7 oz. extra virgin olive oil
½ tbsp parsley, minced
Salt and pepper
Put the flours, salt and lard in a mixer. Add 3 tbsp of lukewarm water and mix it. Keep adding the water 1 tbsp at a time, until your mixture comes together. Knead it on a lightly floured surface for a couple of minutes, then make it into a ball. Cover it with cling wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.
Now, roll the dough into a 5 mm (0.2 inches) thick sheet and cut 4 rounds big enough to fit your pie pans (remember you have to have enough dough to completely cover the sides and leave about 5 mm (0.2 inches) above the border to be able to close the pie). Keep the remaining dough aside (cover it with cling wrap to prevent it from drying out).
Now you can fill the pies. To do this you have 2 options. You can either fill it in layers (sun-dried tomatoes & garlic & parsley, potatoes, lamb, oil and so on). Or mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and then fill the pies (1-2-3-4).
Roll the rest of the dough and cut 4 rounds to close the pies. To do so, place the rounds on the top of the pies and pinch well all around the borders (5-6). Make sure the pies are closed well as the meat cooks with the steam and if there are holes, the pie will become dry.
Bake them in a pre heated oven at 200°C – 390°F for about 2 hours. To check if the panada is ready, gently shake it: if the content moves, then it is cooked.