RECIPE

Fregola Sarda with Shaved Truffle

Fregola sarda is a toasted couscous-like pasta, and you cook it as if you were making risotto. In fact, I made this in my risotto pan.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoon EVOO
  • 1 very small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup fregola sarda or Israeli couscous
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon truffle butter or good-quality regular butter
  • 1 tablespoon butter (see note)
  • A fat handful of grated pecorino cheese
  • Black pepper
  • Black summer truffle, shaved
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs, a combination of chives and flat-leaf parsley

Preparation

In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a low simmer and keep hot.

In another saucepan (or ideally, a risotto pan that has rounded corners), heat the EVOO (2 turns of the pan) over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and tender.

Stir in the fregola and cook that, stirring, until nutty and fragrant. Add the wine and let that fully evaporate, then start adding in the warm stock. With each addition of a couple of ladles of warm stock, stir vigorously to develop the starches. (Fregola cooks a little quicker than Arborio rice. It cooks in 13 to 15 minutes.)

When it gets al dente, stir in the butters, pecorino, lots of black pepper, a liberal amount of shaved truffle, and the herbs.

Note: I love this Italian butter I have that’s made from the same milk as they use for Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

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