Fregola is a Sardinian form of pasta made from rolled semolina – you can read more about it in my post 16 Foodie Discoveries For Visitors To Sardinia. If you can’t find fregola the best substitutes for it, curiously, are not pasta – you could try quinoa, pearl barley. Alternatively you could try Israeli giant couscous – which also made from semolina and then toasted.

What makes this warm summer salad special is the bright lemon-honey dressing which the warm, drained fregola absorbs perfectly.

Instead of pepper I use a pinch of Urfa pepper flakes whose dark chocolatey flavour goes especially well with sausage. You can read more about Urfa pepper here.


Recipe for fregola, courgette and spicy sausage supper


For two


  • 1 large or 2 small courgettes
  • Olive oil for frying, and for the dressing
  • 150g/5 oz fregola – or use quinoa or pearl barley
  • ½ large unwaxed lemon
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 small bunch flat-leaved parsley
  • 150g/5 oz pecorino cheese – if you can’t find this, use mature cheddar, or a mix of cheddar and Parmesan or Grana Padano
  • Salt and pepper – in fact I use a pinch of Urfa pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp honey (I use Sardinian bitter honey… or chestnut honey which is also a little bitter)
  • 200g/7 oz spicy continental sausage – or three tasty English sausages


  1. Put a serving plate into warm.
  2. Boil a full kettle. Pour it into a medium saucepan, salt it well, add the fregola (or the pearl barley or quinoa), and cook as per packet instructions (probably about 12 minutes). Drain, and pour over a little olive oil, mixing in with a fork to prevent the fregola from sticking.
  3. Meanwhile, get some olive oil good and hot in a frying pan, and add the thinly sliced courgettes, sprinkle lightly with salt, fry until golden for a couple of minutes on each side, and drain on kitchen paper.
  4. Meanwhile, cut the sausage(s) into bite-sized pieces, and when you have finished frying the courgettes, fry the sausage.
  5. In a small bowl mix the lemon zest, the lemon juice, 4 tbsp of olive oil, the honey, the dried oregano and some salt and pepper (in fact, I used just a pinch of Urfa pepper flakes, which I think goes especially well with sausages.
  6. Slice off a few slivers of the cheese, and grate the rest.
  7. Empty the drained fregola onto the serving plate. Add the courgettes, the sausages, and the grated cheese and mix well.
  8. Add the dressing, stir in well.
  9. Snip over the parsley. Stir well.
  10. Serve, garnished with the slivers of pecorino.