Updated 2008-07-06 18:03:31 ID=6:1

© 2008 The Romantic Table

A New Find: Fregola


My husband and I really love to cook and because of it we’re always on the lookout for new Mediterranean specialties. A few weeks ago when my husband and I were up in the Bay Area at our favorite Italian grocery store, we discovered an unusual looking dry

My husband and I really love to cook and because of it we’re always on the lookout for new Mediterranean specialties. A few weeks ago when my husband and I were up in the Bay Area at our favorite Italian grocery store, we discovered an unusual looking dry pasta called Fregola. The one pound package of Fragola contained hundreds of rich golden and brown grains about the size of a grain of barley. It was in the pasta section, but we were not sure if it was a pasta or grain of some sort. It was so intriguing looking we could not pass it up, so we bought a package to experiment with.

We brought it home and we were anxious to try it BUT... all the cooking directions on the package were in Italian which we’re not that fluent in. So we checked fregola on the Internet. We found out that fragola is a form of Couscous from Sardinia. Like couscous it is made of semolina flour, but after it is formed, fragola is toasted.

It turns out that you can cook it something like risotto. Now risotto - that’s my specialty! So I felt completely at home with its new cousin. Actually, fragola is more like a “lazy man’s risotto.” Whereas with risotto you have to ladle the broth in gradually as you stir continually, with fregola, you add the broth all at once and stir frequently. Check out my recipes here.

It has such flavor and soul. Very intense,–it’s definitely NOT a boring pasta! You can serve it as a pasta on the side, or offer it as a base to serve fish, meat or vegetables. How ever you use it, it will definitely be a conversation topic to foodies. It’s worth being on the lookout for.

Fellow cooks! If you ever see this pasta in a store, don’t hesitate! –Buy it! It’s my new favorite pasta! –I’m sure it’ll become one of your favorites too.




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A tip from Sue!

The Practical Cook

At the heart of great cooking is a practical cook. Don’t experiment with a new recipe for company.

Use tried and true recipes for those occasions so you can reduce your worries and enjoy the meal and entertaining.