Filindeu means “God’s yarns.” It is a ritual pasta typical of Nuoro and the technique for preparing it has been preserved by just one woman in all of Sardinia. The dough is made with durum wheat semolina, water, and a pinch of salt, and must be kneaded for a long time, until its texture becomes very soft. Elasticity is fundamental, and is obtained by moisturising the dough with separately prepared salted water. The exact moment when this should be done cannot be exactly defined: The person kneading the dough must determine it by feel. Small portions of dough are then cut and stretched eight times with the fingers until they turn into very thin yarns, which are later laid in three layers on a wooden tray called fundu, which in the past used to be made of asphodel. Once the layers of pasta are done, they are put out in the sun to dry, turning into a textile-like flake. Now the filindeu is ready to be broken into pieces and put in boiling sheep broth.
This typical pasta of Barbagia, and the broth in which it is cooked, are linked to the festival of Saint Francis of Lula. In the first week of May, the sheep broth with filindeu is prepared for the pilgrims housed in the shelters (called cumbessìas) arranged around the country church. Thanks to the craftsmanship of Paola Abraini, other women in Nuoro have started to produce filindeu.