Fregola pasta, a uniquely delicious and nutty Sardinian pasta made from hard durum wheat flour and water hand rolled into little dough pearls then toasted into a beautiful mix of golden, yellow and brown shades. Reminiscent of risotto, Succu or Sardinian couscous, Fregula is particularly nice coated in fresh basil pesto and topped with roasted cherry tomatoes and a kiss of citrus.
Hold on to summer with this perfectly cooked Sardinian Fregola Pomodoro or Fregula Sarda coated in a luscious basil pesto and served with slow roasted sweet cherry tomatoes. Brightened up with a squeeze of citrus it’s the perfect summer lunch meal that also makes great leftovers and packs well for the office, picnics, road trips and a day at the beach.
In the colder months the basil pesto can be swapped for a sun dried tomato version, and the roasted tomatoes for marinated artichoke hearts or mushroom scallops (con funghi). Grilled asparagus or eggplant (melanzane), roasted butternut or acorn squash, chopped black olives, charred red onion, crispy roasted broccoli and balsamic Brussels sprouts would all make lovely toppings.
How to Make Fregola
- Slowly roast the tomatoes with the garlic and herbs until they collapse and release their juices.
- Meanwhile cook the pasta in well seasoned boiling water until al dente following the package directions. Rinse under cold water to prevent sticking.
- Prepare the pesto while your pasta is cooking. Toss with the pasta until well coated in the sauce.
- Top with the roasted cherry tomatoes and serve with extra lemon wedges and fresh basil.
Substitutes – If you are not able to outsource any Italian fregula you could substitute it with another small shape pasta like orecchiette, orzo or even farro grains. Israeli couscous and Middle Eastern Moghrabieh could also work in a pinch.
More Pasta Recipes
- 3 cups fregola pasta 1 lb
- 1.5 lb cherry tomatoes
- 10 cloves garlic in paper
- 2 sprigs rosemary (or 1/2 bunch of fresh thyme)
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 2.5 cups basil leaves
- 1/3 cup walnuts or pine nuts toasted
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil + more as needed
- 1 lemon juiced
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- Preheat oven to 360”F.
- Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and place them in a 9x13 inch roasting dish together with 10 garlic cloves in paper, rosemary or thyme and a pinch of sea salt. Drizzle with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and give everything a good shake to coat all over. Roast in the preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes until the tomatoes have collapsed and start showing some brown edges. Discard the herb stalks and reserve the roasted garlic cloves.1.5 lb cherry tomatoes, 10 cloves garlic in paper, 2 sprigs rosemary, 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Salt abundantly and cook the fregola according to the directions on the package, stirring often to prevent sticking.Taste for doneness a couple of minutes before the indicated cooking time. Once an al dente texture is achieved drain and rinse quickly under cold water to prevent sticking.3 cups fregola pasta
- While the pasta is cooking make the pesto. Add the basil leaves, toasted nuts, grated garlic, olive oil and the juice from one lemon to a food processor and puree using the pulse button until desired texture is achieved. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and season to taste with sea salt and more lemon or olive oil as desired.2.5 cups basil leaves, 1/3 cup walnuts or pine nuts, 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 lemon, 2 cloves garlic
- Add the cooked fregola to the bowl with the pesto sauce and toss to coat well all over. Mix in half of the roasted tomatoes and reserve the rest to pile up over the top when serving.3 cups fregola pasta
- Substitutes - If you are not able to outsource any Italian fregula you could substitute it with another small shape pasta like orecchiette, orzo or even farro grains. Israeli couscous and Middle Eastern Moghrabieh could also work in a pinch.
- Pesto swaps - In the colder months the basil pesto can be swapped for sun dried tomato and the roasted tomatoes for marinated artichoke hearts, grilled asparagus, roasted butternut or acorn squash, chopped black olives, charred red onion or shallots, crispy roasted broccoli and balsamic Brussels sprouts.
You’ll Also Love: