At last, I’m taking the time to post this recipe of Sardinian fregola with clams. Three months ago I started to work as a Marketing Manager for a pasta bar in my town, whose owners are from Sardegna, so this is the reason I decided to prepare this dish.
As I have never cooked it before, I took a look to several recipes on the Internet and decided to prepare the fregola recipe by Bruno Barbieri, an Italian chef who holds 7 Michelin stars. He is from Medicina (Bologna), by the way. The final result it’s delicious and I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I do.
Just a few tips:
First, you can cook the fregola like a soup or more like a risotto.
Second, I prepared it with clams but of course, the fregola can be cooked with only veggies, for a vegetarian version, or lots of shellfish instead. I decided to go just with clams this time.
A third and very important tip, the fregola is cooked with seafood stock. Do it homemade if you can. I am writing you the recipe for this broth below. You can even prepare it the day before.
INGREDIENTS for 4 people
Seafood broth (Italian style)
100 ml (100 ml plus 1-15 ml spoon) white wine
1 leek or onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
The head and bone of a monkfish
The head and bone of a red sea scorpionfish
5-6 prawn heads
Salt to taste
For the fregola with clams
500 ml (2 ¼ cups) fish broth, recipe above
500 gr clams, already washed and grit-free
160 gr (2 ½ cups) Sardinian fregola
A clove of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
A chopped tomato
Thyme and parsley to taste, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the seafood broth. In a large pot add the olive oil, leek, carrot, and parsley and fry gently. After a few minutes add the seafood and continue removing. Pour in the white wine and once evaporated, add enough cold water to cover all the ingredients. Cook on a slow heat (not boil!) until half of the liquid has evaporated.
Allow to cool and then, with the help of a skimming spoon, remove all the seafood and veggies. Only after this, strain with a filter cloth. Set aside.
In a big pan pour some olive oil and brown the garlic in its skin. Add the clams too. After a couple of minutes pour in 300 ml (1 ⅓ cups) of the stock. Add more if you need it.
Now in a small pot, lightly toast the fregola and then drain the clams pan liquid directly into here. Cook for 7-8 minutes and add a bit of parsley and thyme. At the 6th minute add some clams and remove gently.
Once ready, remove from the stove, add salt if necessary and pepper to taste, the rest of the clams, a bit of extra virgin olive oil and mix. Serve in a soup dish with some extra parsley on the top and some chopped tomatoes.
The fregola is now ready, so… Buon appetito!
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Photography & Stylism: Carlota Fariña