If this is your first time cooking roasty, toasty, nutty fregola, it probably won't be your last.
This couscous-like pasta has a great texture, and lightly browned onions and garlic bring forward its semolina flavor. Cooking the fregola in chicken stock instead of water infuses each bite with rich flavor. Lemon and orange zest brings a deep citrusy perfume, basil adds its fresh floral flavor and butter imparts creamy richness.
- Get toasted. Fregola gets toasted during its processing, but you can deepen its flavor and impart the comforting taste of toasted bread by toasting it again before you cook it.
- Zestfully delicious. As the orange and lemon zests cook in the warm pan with the onions, they release their natural oils and intensify the flavor of the dish.
- Don’t skip the butter. Finishing the dish with butter is essential. It melds together any remaining moisture from the stock and gives the fregola a smooth, supple texture.
This tool is one we find especially helpful when making this dish.
- Tin foil. If you don’t have a pan with a tight-fitting lid, just spread some tin foil tightly over the top of you pot. This kitchen staple prevents steam from escaping and traps in the moisture necessary to keep the fregola tender as it cooks.
The list below includes all the equipment you’ll want to make this dish.
- Medium sauce pot or pan with lid
- Rubber spatula
- Microplane grater
- Knife and cutting board
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup organic fregola Sarda
- 1/4 cup white onion, finely chopped
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 teaspoons orange zest (from about 1 orange)
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest (from about 1 lemon)
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 basil leaves, cut into 1/4 inch strips
Yield: Serves 4, Makes 2 cups
Total Time: 45 minutes
Active Time: 25 minutes
- Pre-heat oven at 425°F.
- Pour olive oil into a large sauté pan and place over medium heat. When oil starts to shimmer, add fregola and stir to coat. Continue stirring until the fregola begins to brown lightly, about 2 minutes.
- Add the onion and a big pinch of salt and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more (fregola will continue to brown). Add garlic and stir, then stir in the orange and lemon zests. Add stock and bring to a boil. Cover pan and place in oven for 20 minutes or until fregola is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Add the butter, set back over low heat and stir to incorporate. Stir in basil. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Toasted fregola with sun-dried tomatoes, olives & parmigiano
Toasted fregola is a great pasta alternative. Simply toss with sun-dried tomatoes and olives, finish with Parmigiano and serve. Fregola can also be used in lieu of potatoes or beans to flavor and thicken chowders and soups.