This small and toasted semolina pasta fregula comes to Sardinia from the salty and spicy North African cuisine of "Maghreb."
Imported by Ligurian navigators from the Tabarka colony through the island of San Pietro, this is one of the few Moorish dishes that became part of Sardianian traditional cuisine.
Fregula has a nutty flavor that comes from the toasting process, which also allows it to hold up better than many other pastas when cooked.
Gourmet Sardinia's fregula is toasted twice to give it an even more unique flavor and texture when cooked. It's handmade by a small family in Sardinia who adhere to the ancient methods to ensure its artisanal quality.
For those who are looking after their health, the Fregula has a special kind of dietary fiber called "resistant starch" that helps maintain blood sugar and improves digestion. When used cool, the resistant starch doubles - a great reason to use fregula in salads (ref: Health magazine, March 2006).
Like risotto, the fregula will absorb the flavors of whatever you choose to cook it with. It can be used as a side dish or pasta by boiling, covered with a 1:1 ratio of liquid (water or any broth). Toss it with your favorite vegetables and herbs. You can also use it in soups with a 1:2 ratio of pasta to liquid. Add your favorite shellfish or other meat for a light soup. Serve cold or warm.
Efisio recommends fregula served in soups, as a cold pasta salad, or as a side dish to grilled meats or fish.
The Fregula Sarda pasta comes in 1 lb bags.