I am positively bewitched by pasta in all of its humble forms. Today’s pasta selection is fregola (or fregula – from the Italian verb fregare, meaning “to rub”), an ancient form of pasta that originated in Sardegna (probably vis-à-vis contact with Arab cultures of North Africa). It is made from coarsely ground semolina grains, sprinkled with warm water to form pellets that are dried and grated, and then toasted. Fregola has a nutty, toasted (almost slightly burnt) flavor and is traditionally cooked like pasta, but may also be cooked in the manner of risotto, whereby liquid is gradually added as it is absorbed. This recipe reflects a hybrid of the two.
Fregola e Ceci
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Michelle DiBenedetto-Capobianco is a corporate lawyer-turned-private chef in New York. Restless in her legal career, Michelle began to spend each summer at her family home overlooking the Majella (pronounced “mah-yel-lah”) mountain in the central Italian region of Abruzzo where she studied real Italian cooking with talented home cooks and culinary professionals. Michelle now organizes creative small group tours of Abruzzo for visitors from around the globe.
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