Toasted Fregula With Asparagus
Inspired by North Africa’s couscous, Sardinians created fregula, their own version of semolina pasta. To make fregula, they rub semolina flour and water together in a circular motion to form a round shape. Traditionally they then sun dry and toast it, giving it a rich, nutty flavor. While spaghetti and other types of pasta are used in Sardinia, fregula is more widely used on the island.
1⁄2 sweet onion, minced
1 pound asparagus, stems cut off, washed and cut into 1⁄4-inch pieces
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
1⁄2 pound fregula pasta
4 cups vegetable broth
Salt and pepper (optional)
In a soup pot, sauté onion and asparagus in olive oil until onion is wilted, about 5 minutes.
Add fregula and sauté for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned—over medium heat.
Slowly add the broth, letting it absorb fully, about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Lightly toss pasta and veggies, and let sit, covered, for about 30 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with olive oil to serve.
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