Fregula (often Italianised as fregola) is a peppercorn-shaped pasta typical of the Italian island of Sardinia. Made with semola and water, it has a nutty flavour and irregular colour and texture.
My Middle Eastern and North African friends will probably notice a similarity to Berkoukes or Moghrabieh…they are also cooked in very similar ways and fregola is often called Sardinian couscous.
Traditionally, it is cooked like risotto and not like pasta, meaning the fregola is mixed to the other ingredients in a pot, to which small amounts of stock or water are added ladle by ladle, allowing the pasta to absorb the liquid before adding more. This is so that the gluten from the pasta can create a super creamy consistency.
I’ll linked a video in my stories showing you how fregola is traditionally made in Sardinia.
Here’s how I made mine:
Dice and set aside: onion, red pepper, button mushrooms, asparagus, courgette, edamame
Heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and add one large bunch of fresh parsley, chopped finely.
Sauté for 20-30 seconds, then add in the fregola (approx 80g per person) followed by all the diced veggies. Mix well and season with salt, pepper and bay leaf.
Stir in 1 tbsp of tomato concentrate (or puree) and start adding vegetable stock, one ladle at a time. As soon as most of the liquid is absorbed, add one more ladle.
Check the fregola and make sure it doesn’t get overcooked.
Serve immediately with a drizzle of olive oil and more black pepper.