Fregola With Chopped Vegetables
- Servings: 4 as a main course and 6 as a side.
Fregola is a pasta that is similar to couscous. A a specialty from the Italian island of Sardinia, fregola are little bits of pasta made from semolina flour that are then toasted, giving the pasta a more complex and nutty flavor.
In this salad, the fregola is cooked until tender and then cooled. Tossed with chopped vegetables and a light red wine vinaigrette, the fregola becomes a satisfying and complex-flavored pasta salad that is an excellent match to cold sliced beef or seafood. It also makes a wonderful lunch to carry to work.
- 1 1/2 cups fregola
- !/2 cup thinly sliced scallion or spring onion
- 1 1/4 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup diced red pepper
- 2/3 cup diced kirby or seedless English cucumber
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
- 1 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 grinds freshly ground black pepper
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fregola and cook at a gentle boil for 15 minutes until tender but not mushy. Drain completely and let come to room temperature.
- In a large mixing or serving bowl combine the cooled fregola with the chopped vegetables and toasted pine nuts. Toss to combine.
- In a small bowl combine the vinegar, salt and pepper and with either a fork or small whisk, stir until the salt dissolves. Add the olive oil and whisk until completely mixed and pour over the fregola and vegetables. Toss until everything is coated with the dressing.
- Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve, bringing the salad back to room temperature before serving.
Tip: Toast pine nuts in a small skillet without any added fat over medium high heat. It will take 3 to 5 minutes but watch the pan closely and give them an occasional stir with a spoon because the nuts can go from pale to burned very quickly. A sign that the toasting has begun is that the pine nuts will become fragrant.