Does the idea of cheese-stuffed fried dough from Sardinia sound good to you? I 'm talking about a dish called seadas, and it’s one of my favorite recipes in Katie Parla’s stunning new cookbook, Food of the Italian Islands. Seadas are like fried ravioli, and they might be the most underrated Italian dish in the U.S.

“This is one I cannot believe has not blown up because it’s so good,” Parla told me. “It’s basically a raviolo, a big one. The dough is not like a pasta dough. There’s lard in the dough—because Sardinia.”

Parla said that if you ask an Italian what they know of Sardinian cuisine, they might only name a few dishes, and seadas would be one of them. “But it’s not something that’s really traveled outside of Italy, shockingly,” she said. “It feels very right for a viral moment. Because it’s a cheesy, lardy, fried, soft, tender, cheese pull, honey-drenched delicious thing.”

To make seadas, cheese is typically melted together, hardened, cut, and placed in the center of the rolled circular dough. “The cheese is a sheep's milk cheese, and the sheep's milk cheese in Sardinia tends to be real tangy,” Parla said. If you can’t find tangy sheep’s milk cheese, she said to go with a sharp provolone—or something else that melts well. The cheese mixture is then covered with a top layer of dough, cut with a special cutter for seadas, then fried. “And then you drown it in honey,” she said.

Speaking of cheese pulls, another must-try recipe in the book is Gatto di Patate, a.k.a. potato, ham, and cheese casserole. “It’s really so good,” Parla said. “Next level. It’s insane. It says it serves six, but you can really just eat the whole thing at one time.”

Born in New Jersey and now living in Rome, Parla is an author, television host, entrepreneur, podcaster, and Italian food expert. She co-wrote the popular cookbook Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes From an Ancient City with Kristina Gill and recently launched her own publishing company. Food of the Italian Islands, the first cookbook from Parla Publishing, came out on March 7. The cookbook highlights cuisines from Sicily, Sardinia, and all of the islands in between—Le Isole Pontine, L’ Arcipelago Toscano, Le Isole Tremiti, La Laguna Veneziana, and L’ Arcipelago Napoletano.

The book’s vibrant colors make you want to jump in its pages and sample all the treats: live sea urchin, grilled meats, legendary su filindeu, lesser known pestos, cheesy carbs, and cozy minestra. “I feel like 2023 is the year of the minestra,” she said. “One of my favorite things is Minestra Ventotenese, a very brothy chard and bean soup from Ventotene, a tiny island off the coast of Lazio.” One of the joys of the book is how it takes the reader through the lesser known Italian island cultures that are tucked away in the Mediterranean. Buy the book now so you can get ahead of the seadas and minestra trends!

Get her recipe for seadas.

2023-03-10T12:52:03Z dg43tfdfdgfd