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
- 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
- Put a serving plate into warm.
- 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.
- 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.
- Meanwhile, cut the sausage(s) into bite-sized pieces, and when you have finished frying the courgettes, fry the sausage.
- 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.
- Slice off a few slivers of the cheese, and grate the rest.
- Empty the drained fregola onto the serving plate. Add the courgettes, the sausages, and the grated cheese and mix well.
- Add the dressing, stir in well.
- Snip over the parsley. Stir well.
- Serve, garnished with the slivers of pecorino.