Fregola sarda, gorgonzola dolce and dried tomatoes


This type of pasta is really interesting: not only because of its origin – from Sardegna – but also because of its rather peculiar shape and taste. Basically, they are little balls sized 2-3 mm. Some are roasted, some a bit burnt at first glance and the taste is also a bit smoky. Originally, fregola comes from Sardegna, but it was imported there from Tunisia.

For 2 portions:

200 g fregola sarda
50 g gorgonzola dolce
20 g butter
2 radishes
30 g arugula
15 g dried tomatoes (sun dried are the best)
olive oil
salt and pepper

Bring some water to boil: this pasta requires more space, so make sure you have enough. Traditionally fregola is cooked in tomato sauce, which helps it to thicken. Use a small amount of salt (about 8 grams per liter). I prefer to cook with coarse sea salt, that has a much lower acidity than the conventional one. Fregola takes much longer to cook than I am used to, at the restaurant, we make 90 percent of pasta by ourselves and homemade pasta really doesn’t need much time. Anyway, it should be done in 10-12 minutes.

When the pasta’s ready, don’t forget to save some water from it – we will use it to build the sauce. Pour the water into the pan and bring it to a boil. Add the chopped tomatoes and let it simmer for 2 minutes to soften, then add the butter. This process will create an emulsion of butter and water: both components will combine into one.

Drain the pasta. Add small pieces of gorgonzola: do not try to cut it, with some types of cheese it is just better to get your hands dirty. When it loosens up, add the pasta and mix it together. Cut the radishes into thin slices, rinse and dry the arugula.

Now you just need to taste! If needed, you can add some extra water, pepper or butter. Put everything on the plate, decorate, drizzle with some olive oil and serve. Enjoy!