CULURGIONIS AND PROSCIUTTO (HAM)
the symbols of Ogliastrine Cuisine.
In every town you can taste the culurgionis, the true symbol of Ogliastrine cooking.
They are little "bundles" of fresh pasta filled with potatoes, sheep's cheese and fresh mint.
They have the characteristic "spighitta" (little spike) shape and only the nimble hands of Ogliastrine women manage to mould the pasta this way.
Try them with a bit of simple laurel sauce or a little oil and freshly-ground pepper or, as they do in Arzana, with a tasty mushroom sauce.
But always with a generous sprinkling of dry, spicy sheep's cheese, grated directly onto the plate.
Go towards the mountain and you come to Arzana and Villagrande. Here they make the best ham in Sardinia.
It's ham made from pigs raised in the wild. They graze loose, eating the berries and fruit of the Mediterranean scrub. And then the acorns in the big holm-oak forests. The acorn is a philosopher's stone for pork: it transforms it, makes it lean, tasty, intense, compact and sweet.
It is with this meat that in Arzana and Villagrande they make the world's best ham.
Prepared with wine vinegar, salt and pepper and sometimes flavoured with wild garlic.