Fregola is a toasted semolina pasta that is very popular in Sardinia. You can substitute any small shape pasta, such as orzo, which it resembles, but do make the effort to seek it out at a specialty food shop. Its nutty flavor makes this pasta salad really unusual and delicious.–Giada De Laurentiis
LC Unusual and Delicious Note
In the note above, the author of this recipe, Giada De Laurentiis, explains that it’s the flavor of the fregola pasta that makes this salad so “unusual and delicious.” We think she might be being a little modest. The fregola is a unique addition, sure, but just look at the rest of the ingredients. Fresh herbs. Fennel seeds. Homemade orange oil, for crying out loud. Every component of this salad is unusual and delicious, down to the last mouthful.
Fregola Salad with Fresh Citrus
- Quick Glance
- 25 M
- 40 M
- Serves 4 to 6
- For the orange oil
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Zest of 1 orange, preferably organic
- For the salad
- 8 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium canned chicken broth
- 1 pound fregola pasta (or orzo)
- 1 orange
- 1 pink grapefruit
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped mint leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
- 1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds, lightly toasted
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Make the orange oil
- 1. Combine the olive oil and the orange zest in a small bowl and set aside.
- Make the salad
- 2. In a large saucepan over high heat bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite, 10 to 12 minutes.
- 3. Drain the pasta and turn it onto a large baking sheet. Spread it out into a single layer and let cool for 10 minutes.
- 4. Meanwhile, using a small knife, cut all the peel and pith off the orange and grapefruit. Holding the fruit over a large bowl to catch any juice, cut between the membranes to release the segments into the bowl. Add the onion, mint, basil, fennel seeds, salt, pepper, and cooled fregola pasta to the segments and juice in the bowl.
- 5. Add the reserved orange oil to the pasta. Toss all the ingredients and serve.