Description: This braided pasta gets its name from the Sardinian word loriga, meaning long ring. It is one of the most difficult pasta shapes to make and is still made my hand today. A professional can shape around 1 kilo in an hour. The complexity and long shaping time make them a very hard shape to find. If you have some time to pass, I highly recommend giving them a try!
Dough: Semolina Dough
Traditional Sauce: Chicken Ragù
For portioning I do 100g of flour per person.
Homemade lorighittas pasta with semolina flour.
Prepare the pasta dough
Weigh out your flour and water, making sure the water is very warm. I aim for around 90-100 degrees F. Mix together in a bowl into a shaggy dough starts to form.See link in the description for more details on making the dough.
Knead the dough
Dump on a counter or wooden board and knead for 10 minutes. The dough should be very elastic and spring back when touched and almost feel like playdough (see notes below). Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
Shaping the lorighittas
Normally we divide the dough into equal parts and work with a piece at at time. However, for lorighitta it is best to work with the whole dough ball. Keep the majority of the dough covered with a slightly damp towel to avoid it from drying out. Start by stretching and rolling one end of the dough into a thin rope. Keep rolling until the dough is very very thin. It should be a bit thinner than a chopstick and not quite as thin as spaghetti. Somewhere in between.
Once the dough is rolled out, wrap the end around 3 fingers twice then pinch together. From here there are 2 ways to make the braids. One, take the outer loop and place it behind the inner and keep repeating until the braid is formed. Two, and my preferred way, twist the top and bottom in opposite directions until it is fully braided.
Keep rolling the dough and continue until all the dough is used.Consistency is very important, try to make all the lorighittas roughly the same shape. This will ensure they cook evenly. If you notice the dough cracking add a bit of water to your hands when rolling out. See the gallery for detailed pictures on shaping the pasta.
Drying and Cooking
Let the pasta dry completely. Traditionally this is done under the hot italian sun for several hours, but overnight inside works as well.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Turn down the water to a simmer then add pasta. Cook for around 12 minutes or until al-dente. Cooking time will vary based on the thickness of the lorighita.If the water boils too hard it will break up the pasta and destroy the hours spent shaping it.