From Geoff Last
Fregola sarda (also spelled fregula) is a type of pasta from Sardinia that looks like Israeli couscous; it has a similar texture but considerably more flavour. It comes in varying sizes, but typically consists of semolina dough that’s been rolled into balls 2-3 mm in diameter and toasted in an oven. It’s not widely available but I was able to get it at the Italian Centre on Fairmont Drive S.E. The beauty of this dish is that you can change up the herbs and vegetables to allow for whatever’s in season or on hand.
- 1/2 bunch kale, leaves only, or other dark leafy greens
- 1-1/2 c. peas, fresh or frozen
- large handful of green beans (you can also use broccoli and asparagus)
- 1/2 lb. fregola pasta
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 2 T. red wine vinegar
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- 1 t. Dijon mustard
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- 1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved (optional, but adds nice colour)
- 1 bunch mint, chopped
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the kale, peas and green beans for about a minute each. Scoop them out and plunge them into an ice bath. Drain well. Bring the blanching water to a boil and cook the fregola in it until al dente, testing regularly; it takes about 12 minutes to cook. Drain the pasta, rinse it under cool water and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, zest and vinegar, then whisk in the olive oil in a thin stream to emulsify. Add the mustard and season with salt and pepper, whisking to combine. Transfer the vegetables to a serving dish and toss with the pasta, adding tomatoes, if using. Add the dressing and mint and toss again to combine. Taste for salt, adjusting if necessary. Serve at room temperature. Serves 4.