On a recent trip to Sardinia, I fell in love with fregola. It’s one of Sardinia’s local pastas – small little balls similar to giant couscous (due to Sardinia’s influence from North Africa) which are used in a similar way as any pasta throughout Italy. It’s cooked al dente with a bite, and soaks in the flavours of any minced meat and seafood – both widely used in Sardinia.
I ate it both ways while in Sardinia (research, darling) and I can’t say which I loved more. The classic minced beef, similar to a bolognese, is perfect with fregola (looks a bit like mush but tastes fantastic) and the fregola soaks up tomato sauce very well. This is often served inland where meat is the focus (pork, lamb, goat, beef).
On the coast, we found fregola served with fresh prawns and mussels which was fresh, summery and an awesome spin on classic ‘frutti di mare’ dishes with spaghetti, linguine or fettuccine. Just good old Italian soul food.
It’s SUPER easy to make (if you can cook pasta ‘al dente’ without making it mush, you can’t mess this up). However I haven’t found it in London (let me know if you have?). I brought home 1 bag of dried fregola from Sardinia and have been hoarding it in my cupboard, only using a small amount at a time because I’m so in love with it.
Try it as a fun alternative to pasta with your next bolognese or steamed mussels! Or hop on the next flight to Sardinia (even better).