California Central Coast Recipes
Fregola- A Toasted Couscous
Fragola is a form of Couscous from Sardinia. Like couscous it is made of semolina flour, but after it is formed, fragola is toasted. The cooking method is similar to risotto but it's more of 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 for about fifteen minutes.
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. See my Article A New Find: Fregola
Preparation time: 10 minutesCooking time: 15 minutes
4 Cups reduced-sodium chicken broth If you like the fregola with a more dry texture, reduce the amount of chicken broth a little.
1 Medium-large Shallot , peeled and minced
2 Tablespoons Extra-virgin Olive oil
8 ounces fregola ,Measure by weight, not volume
1/2 Cup Dry white wine
Salt to taste
Several grinds freshly cracked black pepper
1 Heat the chicken broth to almost boiling in a saucepan.
2 Heat the olive oil in a separate large saucepan or stockpot over medium-low heat.
3 Add the chopped shallot and cook two to three minutes until softened and light golden.
4 Add the fregola to the saucepan containing the shallot and stir well to toast the fregola grains two to three minutes.
5 Add the wine and stir well until the wine is almost completely absorbed.
6 Add all of the hot chicken broth, stir well and when it starts to boil, reduce heat, partially cover and simmer on low fifteen to twenty minutes. Make sure that the broth-fregola mixture maintains a simmer. Stir frequently.
7 When almost all the broth is absorbed, give some quick strong stirring strokes to the fregola to help the fregola become more creamy.
8 Taste the fregola, add salt and several grinds of cracked black pepper and stir well.
9 Remove fregola from the heat, completely cover and let rest a few minutes before serving.
Fregola can be used as a side dish, or as an entree bed. Think of it in the same food category as rice.