Fregola with bacon and peas

Fregola with bacon and peas

By
From
The Sunday Night Book
Serves
2
Photographer
Patricia Niven

Fregola is a bobbly Sardinian pasta that I really like, partly due to my deep love of the texture of sago and tapioca. Cooking it with peas makes for a pleasingly spherical supper. This is a sort of soupy dish, a bit like risi e bisi.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
150g fregola
100g frozen peas
1 1/2 tablespoons light olive oil
60g smoked streaky bacon
1 banana shallot, finely sliced
100ml white wine
400ml chicken or vegetable stock
30g butter
30g freshly grated parmesan
3 sprigs mint, leaves picked and finely chopped
sea salt
black pepper

Method

  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the fregola for half its cooking time, about 8 minutes, adding the peas for the last 2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water, then set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. If your bacon has the rind still on, remove and reserve. Using scissors, snip the bacon into 1 cm pieces directly into the hot oil – adding any reserved rind for extra flavour – then let it sizzle and give off its fat. Once the bacon is cooked and a bit crispy, lift out with a slotted spoon and set aside; discard the rinds or give them to the birds.
  3. Add the shallot to the residual fat in the pan and cook over a low heat for about 5 minutes, or until soft, stirring so it doesn’t catch too much colour. Stir in the fregola and peas, then pour in the white wine. Once the wine has evaporated, add the stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until the fregola is just cooked, about another 6 minutes.
  4. Return the bacon to the pan, then add the butter and all but a tablespoon of both the parmesan and the mint. Stir over a low heat for a couple of minutes, then cover and remove from the heat. Let it sit for another minute before spooning into bowls. Scatter over the remaining parmesan and mint, then inhale – this is super-delicious!
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