How to Make Delicious Fregola Pasta? Here are Some Divine Recipes

How to Make Delicious Fregola Pasta?
You must have tried fusilli, spaghetti, macaroni, farfalle, lasagna, etc., but have you tried the fregola pasta? Want to try making it, but don't know how to cook fregola pasta?
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The word Fregola is derived from the Sardinian verb ficare, which means 'to crumble'.
Fregola [FREH-goh-lah] is a form of semolina pasta, which is a specialty of the southern parts of Sardinian, Italy. It is also known as Sardinian Couscous.
Traditionally, this pasta is handmade by combining semolina flour mixed with water. Later, it is rolled into small fine beads. Once that is done, they are sun-dried. It is a close relative of couscous, as they both are made of semolina pasta, rolled into fine beads. The pasta can later be used along like any other pasta. It can be used in pasta salads, seafood soups, and baked pasta.
Fregola pasta is very versatile as it can be used in dishes like risotto, a stuffing for chicken, and also can be added to soups like minestrone.
Clam and Mussel Fregola
Clams Over Pasta
Ingredients
  1. Fregola pasta, 1 pound (3¼ cups)
  2. Dry Marsala wine or dry sherry, 1 cup
  3. Water, 3 cups
  4. Chicken stock, 3 cups
  5. Olive oil, ¼ cup and 3 tbsp.
  6. Cherry tomatoes, 1 cup (6 ounces)
  7. Onion, medium-sized, chopped, 1
  8. Garlic, chopped, 2 cloves
  9. Mussels, cleaned, 12
  10. Little neck clams, cleaned, 12
  11. Fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, ½ cup
  12. Salt, 1 tbsp.
  13. Black pepper, as per taste
Method of Preparation
Boil the chicken stock, together with 1 tbsp. salt and water. Add in the fregola pasta and cook it for 8 - 10 minutes or till the pasta is cooked such that it has a bite to it.

While the pasta cooks, heat ¼ cup olive oil on medium heat; add the onions and season it with salt and pepper. Cook this till it is soft and translucent. Stir in the garlic and tomatoes, and cook for a few more minutes. Pour in the Marsala wine and cook again for a few minutes. Keep stirring to avoid any of the ingredients from burning. Add in the cleaned clams and mussels. Cover it with a tight lid and let it cook, till the shellfish open up. This may take up to 10 minutes. Remove all the unopened shellfish.

Drain out the pasta. While serving, stir and pour the shellfish mixture onto the fregola. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve hot.
Fregola Salad
Ingredients
  1. Fregola pasta, 1 pound
  2. Extra-virgin olive oil, ½ cup
  3. Red onion, thinly sliced, 1 small
  4. Fennel seeds, lightly toasted, ½ tbsp.
  5. Lime zest, 1
  6. Chicken broth, 8 cups
  7. Fresh mint leaves, chopped, ½ cup
  8. Fresh basil leaves, chopped, ¼ cup
  9. Pepper, to taste
  10. Salt, to taste
Method of Preparation
Cook the fregola pasta in boiling chicken broth. Cook the pasta till it is soft, but still has a bite to it. Once cooked, drain and spread it out in a thin single layer, and allow it to cool.

Meanwhile, mix olive oil and the lime zest in a small bowl and set aside. Once the pasta is cooled, mix in the chopped onions, basil, mint, pepper, salt, and fennel seeds together. Drizzle in the lime zest and oil. Lightly mix all the ingredients together and serve.

You can also choose to add in some fruits, viz., pink grapefruit and/or orange (peeled and chopped) to your salad. This will give it an added contrasting taste and texture.
Fregola Salad with Cherry Tomatoes
Ingredients
  1. Fregola pasta, 3 cups
  2. Red onions, medium-sized, sliced to ½ inch thickness, 2
  3. Cherry tomatoes, 1 pint
  4. Extra-virgin olive oil, ½ cup
  5. Balsamic vinegar, ½ cup
  6. Basil leaves, torn, 1 cup
  7. Rosemary sprigs, 2
  8. Thyme sprigs, 2
  9. Pepper
  10. Salt
Method of Preparation
Preheat the oven at 300°F. On a baking sheet, toss in the tomatoes drizzled with olive oil. Sprinkle the leaves of the thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Remember not to put in any stems. Bake it for 30 - 40 minutes until the tomatoes are ready.

Cook the pasta in boiling water, and add some salt into it while cooking. This may take up to 15 minutes. Once cooked, transfer it into a large bowl.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 300°F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the tomatoes with olive oil. Add the rosemary and thyme sprigs and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 40 minutes until the tomatoes are ready to burst. Strip the crispy leaves from the herb stems; discard the stems.

Drizzle some olive oil and add the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Grill this over moderate heat till it is nice and crisp. This may take 3 - 5 minutes per side. Once cooked to perfection, transfer the onions onto a baking dish. Add some balsamic vinegar and ¼ cup olive oil, and bake for 20 minutes at 325°F, till it is tender. Once cooked, leave it out to cool. Do not throw away the extra vinegar oil liquid; reserve it for later.

While serving, add the onions and liquid, along with the tomatoes and herbs to the cooked pasta. Stir in some more vinegar and oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Fregola with Parmesan and Goat Cheese
Ingredients
  1. Fregola pasta, 7 ounces
  2. Extra-virgin olive oil, 3tbsp
  3. Cherry tomatoes, halved, 2 cups
  4. Goat cheese, crumbled, 3 ounces
  5. Black olives, coarsely chopped, ⅓ cup
  6. Dried oregano, ½ tsp
  7. Garlic, peeled, 3 cloves
  8. Sugar,1 tsp.
  9. Pine nuts, 1 tbsp.
  10. Parmesan cheese, grated, 1 tbsp
  11. Fresh basil, ¾ cup
  12. Salt
  13. Pepper
Method of Preparation
Cook fregola in boiling hot, salted water (½ tsp. salt is enough).

While that is cooking, preheat the oven to 350°F. Drizzle in 1 tsp. olive oil, and toss in tomatoes with garlic, dried oregano, sugar, and a pinch each of salt and pepper into a roasting pan. Roast it for around 30 minutes, or until tomatoes are cooked and on the verge of caramelizing.

Roast the garlic and pulse it in the food processor along with some basil, salt and pepper, pine nuts, 1 tbsp. olive oil, and Parmesan cheese.

Once the pasta is cooked and drained, add in olives, pesto, tomatoes, and goat cheese. Garnish with fresh oregano leaves on top and serve.
Pasta and wine are a team made in heaven. Have a glass of your favorite wine along with any of these pasta recipes, and add in some garlic bread on the side to give it a little more "bistro" effect. Bon appétit.
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