what to do with fregola

This is a very versatile pasta.

It's a great base for room temperature salads. You can add it to soups, or use and serve more like a grain. Or you could cook it like risotto, adding liquid incrementally until it’s luciously starchy.

To cook it like pasta, bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it generously, and then add the fregola and boil for around 10 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente, but not mushy. Drain and rinse lightly with cold water, then shake off as much residual moisture as possible. You could eat it simply tossed with butter, olive oil and salt. 

You can use this cooked fregola as the base of a grain salad as you would a pasta salad. You could add tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs, feta and olives and dress it with olive oil, lemon and sumac. Or add lemon juice and zest, olive oil, chopped pistachios, maybe some chopped dates, parsley and shaved parmesan.

Or, if I’m roasting chicken in a cast iron pan… once the chicken is done, I remove it from the pan and add the cooked fregola, scraping up all the crispy goodness in the pan, and letting the fregola absorb the fat and juices.

Another application, and the most traditional, would be to add it to something brothy.