When going to Sulcis for a tasting of Carignano, exquisite local dishes can be found, some perfect for combination with the famous Sardinian aromatic red wine. In such an area, ingredients from the generous south-western Sardinian sea and, in particular, tuna, must excel.
Slices of roast tuna are more than at home in Carloforte and one of the most popular recipes involves marinating the tuna with a sauce of olive oil, parsley and chopped onion, lard, white vinegar, and salt and pepper. The slices are then roasted over embers and moistened with lemon juice. Spaghetti alla carlofortina, a delicious local dish, also enhances tuna, the true local speciality. The spaghetti is seasoned with a tasty fresh tuna-based sauce, diced tomato and Genovese pesto sauce. Tuna bottarga, obtained from tuna roe, salted and dried, still in the ovarian sac, is also well-known. Lovers of spaghetti with tuna bottarga can find the dish in every restaurant or trattoria to sample the unmistakeable flavour and scent.
Cascà, a local reworking of couscous, the traditional north African dish which has been part of the culinary tradition of Carloforte and Calasetta for over a century, is a one-course meal typical of Sulcis. The ingredients include not only large semolina but also mixed vegetables, various types of browned meat, mainly pork and, in Carloforte, also boiled chick peas.
Another traditional dish of Calasetta is Pilau, based on lobster and other crustaceans (scampi and king prawns) cut into pieces and browned with olive oil and chopped onion then cooked separately with fresh diced tomato, chopped basil, salt and pepper. Fregola, a Sardinian pasta, is added when the dish is ready.