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Cascà alla carlofortina

Among the most popular dishes of the Sardinian island of Carloforte, San Pietro, is the cous cous alla carlofortina. Also known as Cascà a Tabarkin, this dish is inspired by the Arab cuisine of Tabarca, a Tunisian African islet, where the Ligurians moved in the first half of the 16th century and their descendants settled in Carloforte in 1738.

In the Tabarchin language, the term Cascà or Cashcà indicates both the dish and the couscoussiera, the perforated earthenware vessel where the semolina is steamed.

This dish is prepared on the feast of St Charles on 4 November and in April, on the occasion of the festival.

The recipe is based on durum wheat semolina, onion, cauliflower, cabbage, chickpeas, pork (bacon) and spices. The semolina is worked with a twisting motion of the palm of the hand (arundiò a sémmua) and turned into granules, as uniform as possible (scucuzù). To prevent it from clumping, it is moistened with water from time to time and then dipped in oil before steaming. The vegetables are browned separately and then added to the cous cous. 

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