List Item: Try three quarters of the 1001 Foods You Must Try Before You Die
So begins a short series of themed food posts where I clear the kitchen cupboards of all the list items I have building up and try to cook delicious things with them.
The first to be looked at is this packet of fregola that I found in a nearby Marks and Spencer. Not in the regular pasta section mind you, but the ever changing section of international/speciality ingredients.
If you haven’t heard of fregola then that means you are not from the island of Sardinia. It’s listed in the book and on Wikipedia as a type of pasta made from semolina flour where the dough is made into small balls before being toasted. Sounds just like giant couscous right?
To sample this pasta I found a super recipe on Bon Appétit where you cooked the fregola with peas, freshly chopped mint and bacon before finishing it with great dollops of ricotta cheese.
If the description of fregola didn’t sound enough like giant couscous then eating it sure did. Unlike couscous, each grain of fregola has a good bite to it. This might be more a side-effect of fregola’s size when cooked, which is about the same as a garden pea.
Other than the bite thing I would say that the comparison to couscous is rather apt. Like it’s smaller cousin, the fregola swelled up as it was being boiled. So much was the swelling that I had to top up the water a little bit to ensure even cooking.
This plumping, for me, makes fregola preferable to couscous. It is nowhere as dense when eating a plate of it, and you can make risotto like dishes as long as you add a little bit of pasta water to the sauce to help things up. So, it’s pretty much what you get if you tried to make a hybrid of orzo and couscous.
It all adds up to a tasty dinner where I am happy to have half a bag left in the cupboard for future usage.