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Asparagus Fregula "Risotto" with Fiore Sardo Recipe

Serves 4


This is a recipe adapted from Efisio Farris' Fregula with Asparagus recipe from his cookbook, Sweet Murtle & Bitter Honey (Rizzoli Int'l, 2017).


The original recipe calls for Gorgonzola cheese. We chose to use grated Fiore Sardo cheese a wonderful smoked Pecorino and classic Sardinian DOP specialty. Fiore Sardo is a lot like Parmigiano-Reggiano, and has its own distinct and classically Sardinian flavor.  With this recipe you can use any of the cheeses with success!

There are many ways to cook Fregula. This way is to cook it like you would to make risotto. Taking almost half the time to make it is easy and therapeutic without making you anxious.

Cheese is so important to all these recipes. Fiore Sardo, though a hard cheese, is softer than Parmigiano-Reggiano and grates so easily over this pasta!


ingredients:

2 Tbs Rice Bran Oil

1 shallot - finely diced

1 pound asparagus - peeled and thinly sliced, leaving the tip of the spear in tact.

4 cups More Than Gourmet Classic Chicken Stock

3 cups Fregula Sarda pasta

1/2 dry white wine

1/2 cup grated Fiore Sardo Cheese (or Parmigiano-Reggiano)

High quality olive oil for finishing

Sea salt and freshly ground Tellicherry Pepper to taste


directions:

1. In a medium stock pot, heat chicken stock until boiling.

2. Place rice bran oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add finely diced shallots and saute until translucent.  Add asparagus pieces and keep stirring for about another 3 minutes.

3. Add dried Fregula to the asparagus and saute for another few minutes, letting the fregula "toast", stirring continuously. Pour in white wine and cook until liquid is fully absorbed.

4. Add the hot chicken stock to the saucepan and continue to stir until all the liquid is absorbed - about 10 minutes. Stir in grated Fiore Sardo and stir until completely incorporated, then finish with a generous drizzle of high quality olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Let rest for a few minutes before serving.