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October 10, 2010

Fregula sarda (Recipe: fregula sarda with roasted and fresh peppers, feta and basil) {vegetarian}

Fregula sarda with feta

One helpful thing to know about fregula sarda:

It's a Sardinian pasta made of coarse semolina that is toasted after it's dried. (Sometimes you'll see it spelled fregola.) The key word is pasta; if you remember that, you'll think of all sorts of ways to substitute fregula in pasta dishes you already enjoy. Approximately the same size as Israeli couscous but with the nutty flavor that comes from toasting, fregula makes a wonderful risotto or pilaf. I like to add it to vegetable stews as a thickener, too.

Cooking or baking?
Cooking.

Storage:
In the pantry cupboard for up to one year. After you open the package, transfer leftover fregula sarda to a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.

Pantry ingredients in this recipe:
Fregula sarda (more facts and ingredient photo)
Red wine vinegar
Dijon mustard
Feta cheese

Fregula sarda

Fregula sarda with roasted and fresh peppers, feta and basil

A few pantry items and a some basil from the garden came together in this salad. Fregula sarda is a pasta, so if you don't have it, substitute any small pasta (orzo, ditalini, etc.). You'll miss the nutty, toasted flavor of the fregula, though; it really makes this dish. Serves 2 as a main course salad.

Ingredients

4 cups water
1/2 cup fregula sarda
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
A pinch each of kosher salt and fresh black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and diced (store-bought, from a jar, is fine)
1/2 orange or green bell pepper, diced
2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
10 basil leaves, cut into thin strips

Directions

In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the fregula sarda, reduce heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes or until the pasta is cooked through.

While the pasta is cooking, make the vinaigrette: whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper and garlic in a small measuring cup. Continue whisking, and pour in the olive oil in a slow stream until the vinaigrette emulsifies (comes together and thickens a bit). Pour 2 tablespoons of the dressing into a mixing bowl, and set the rest aside.

Drain the fregula sarda, and add to the bowl with the vinaigrette. Toss together, and let the fregula sit in the dressing. Add the roasted and fresh peppers, feta and basil, and stir well to combine. Stir in as much additional vinaigrette as you wish.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]


More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Fregula sarda with leeks and sausage
Couscous with orange and dried fruit
Couscous salad with herbs
Cold curried orzo

Other recipes that use fregula sarda:
Fregola sarda with zucchini and pinenuts, from Chocolate & Zucchini
Fregula with peas and plum, from Not Eating Out in New York
Fregola sarda with roasted vegetables and wild garlic pesto, from Food Stories
Fregola sarda with eggplant and walnuts, from Rosa Jackson
Seafood soup with fregola, from Brooklynguy's Wine and Food Blog

Comments

Yum!! As someone who is allergic to gluten do you think that quinoa would taste good in this salad too?

YUM.

How about buckwheat as a GF sub? Now there's flavor!

I have never cooked with fregula sarda and now I am completely intrigued by the thought of a nutty-flavored pasta. Thanks for introducing me to this!

Deidre, absolutely! And if you try it, let us know how it worked out.

Susan, yes! Thanks for the suggestion. It will add some "weight" to the dish, which is what the fregula does too.

Cookin' Canuck, fregula is like couscous, only better -- more chewy and substantial. It's a great base for the kinds of vegetable stews I love to make at this time of year.

This is definitely the kind of salad that appeals to me and I will be making it this week. I bought Fregula Sarda for the first time when our local Whole Foods opened and haven't been able to find it since. It was perfect for Italian Wedding Soup. Your salad is another perfect dish for this pasta.

This looks delicious! I've never heard of fregula, but I'll have to see if I can find some next time I'm in a big city. Meanwhile, I love the idea of combining fresh and roasted peppers!

Next time you are in San Francisco you must go to La Ciccia, an amazing Sardinian restaurant that makes fantastic dishes with fregola, including one scented with saffron. Or better yet, let's go together!

Yum! I eat pasta for practically every meal :)

Yum! This looks like it would make a wonderful picnic lunch!

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  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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