This dish might seem a plate of risotto at a first glance or even large couscous.
But with all visual similarities – it’s not.
Fregola or Fregula in Sardinian language is a type of pasta that has truly ancient origin.
Traditionally it’s made by hand rubbing semolina flour with water. Small round shape balls are then toasted in the oven.
This special hand rolling technique gives this pasta a unique texture, perfect to soak up all goodness of the sauce. And the finishing touch in the oven enriches it with slightly uneven, rustic color and an amazing nutty flavor.
Fregola may come in slightly different sizes, from small balls to those a bit larger in diameter. It’s a matter of preference which one you choose. But generally, large fregola is best for salad, while small and medium size fregola is perfect for a plate of pasta, just like this one.
Fregola Sarda with juicy shrimp and tomato sauce 🙂
Fregola Sarda with Shrimp & Light Tomato Sauce
- Start by peeling and deveining fresh shrimps. You can leave tip of the tail on (easier to bite on) or remove it completely.
- If you bought whole shrimps, reserve the heads and boil them for a few minutes with your vegetable of fish stock.
- In a large skillet pan add extra virgin olive oil and garlic cloves crushed with a flat knife.
- Let it lightly brown and infuse the oil. If you like leave the garlic to cook further or remove it from the pan.
- Add shrimps and peperoncino to taste. Roast shrimps for about a minute on each side until they get nice pink color.
- Add tomato quarters and chopped parsley. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes until tomatoes become soft.
- At this point add dry fregola, toss it around the pan with the sauce. In a minutes tinge it with white wine.
- Once wine is completely evaporated start cooking fregola as you would cook rice for risotto.
- Add 1 ladle of hot vegetable or fish stock. Let simmer until the first ladle is absorbed, after that add another ladle. Cook fregola for 20-25 minutes. It should remain slightly ‘al dente’.
- Serve immediately.