The bikers begin their Sardinian adventure in the small town of Cagliari, where everyone is in high spirits for the feast of St Efisio. The locals are dressed in traditional garb to parade through the town on decorated bullock carts.
The bikers join in the fun by cooking a local speciality – almond and orange cakes. Leaving the festivities behind, they head west to meet the tuna fishermen of Carloforte. Here, tuna is known as the ‘pig of the sea’ and nose-to-tail eating is the norm. After seeing the locals’ unique form of fishing, the bikers meet a chef who serves up platters of tuna treated the Carloforte way.
Situated at the heart of the Mediterranean sea, Sardinia has been invaded from all directions during its history. While the people of Carloforte are descended from the Ligurians of northern Italy, the charming town of Alghero is positively Catalan in its culinary heritage. Here, they serve up octopus, lobster and dessert all Catalan-style. Over the centuries, incomers have settled around the coast, but the mountainous interior was never truly conquered or colonised and that is the bikers’ next stop on their quest to find the ‘real’ Sardinia.
A mountain-top campsite proves the perfect place to meet the locals and the bikers soon find themselves immersed in the warm embrace of a group of shepherds. They see how Sa Ventre is made – it is a kind of sheep’s black pudding – a classic case of using everything that nature has to offer.
Featured recipes include frutti di mare with saffron fregola (seafood with fregola pasta and saffron), torta menjar blanc (lemon cream tart) and lamb and fennel stew with fennel salad.
Hairy Bikers’ Mediterranean Adventure ep.2 dishes:
1. Sardinian lamb with fennel
Packed with flavour, this slow-cooked lamb dish can be served with couscous or good-quality bread.
2. Torta menjar blanc
Italian-style tart with a lemon and cinnamon custard topped with lemony pastry.
3. Frutti di mare with saffron fregola
Fregola (pellet-shaped pasta) is cooked into something resembling a risotto in this delicious seafood recipe, but with a little more sauce.
4. Sardinian-style minestrone
This minestrone uses the small balls of fregola pasta, which are often used in Sardinia. The beans are a combination of borlotti, broad beans and green beans.