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Jul 10, 2006 05:35 PM

Fregola Update

We had a friend to dinner on Saturday, and when I went to cook white rice to go along with a chicken dish (onions, tomatoes, cinnamon, ginger, saffron - sprinkled toasted almonds and sesame seeds on top) I realized I was out. So I decided to try the fregola that had been sitting around. Cooked it, as suggested, as I would rice, but used chicken broth. It had a nice toasty/nutty flavor, but was a bit overwhelmed by the chicken broth (WF brand) - next time I would use half broth, half water. Menu started with a refreshing cilantro gazpacho, main course served with a chick pea/spinach dish, and finished with some sliced nectarines, vanilla ice cream and toasted almonds.

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  1. Fregula is great as a base for a "stew" of sauteed Mexican style chorizo and steamed clames.

    1. I've been looking for that in all of my stores, yet can't seem to find it(SF BAy Area). Where did you find it? This is the pasta that's better for digestion isn't it? Heard it's great.

      5 Replies
      1. re: rabaja

        They usually have it at the Pasta Shop.

        1. re: rabaja

          Lucca Ravioli in the Mission has it all the time. You should also check at Rainbow; I think I've seen it there.

          1. re: rabaja

            I bought mine at Di Palo's in NYC - but in a search for recipes, it seems as if a number of online stores carry it.

            1. re: rabaja

              Thanks for the help, I found it today at Rainbow. I actually think I've seen this numerous times and didn't realize what I was looking at. Seems very much like a toasted couscous. Is there any truth to it being better for you than regular pasta, i.e., more digestable? I heard this a while ago, and now am thinking this may be false info...

              1. re: rabaja

                I think I remember reading the a magazine article saying this, but the what the author found to be healthy about fregola wasn't it's fiber count, but rather it's tiny shape. She thought you ended up eating less actual pasta and more of the dishes other components because the little round beads are so much smaller than, say, penne.
                That being said, I had the most delicious salad up in Point Reys Station - at that takeout food counter in the same building as Cowgirl Creamery (does it have a different name? can't remember...). It consisted of fregola, edamame, tiny cuts of parboiled carrots, and fresh mint in a sherry vinaigrette, So simple, but sooo good that I couldn't stop eating it! They managed to impart so much flavor into the pasta. i think they must have dressed it warm.
                I'm looking forward to trying to make it myself but I just need to get to the farmer's market before, because my local markets have just spearmint, and I think one secrets to this salad's great flavor was super-fresh peppermint.