Bacon and Pea Fregola Recipe by Rosie Sykes | Food

Fregola is a bobbly Sardinian pasta that I love, in part because of my deep love of the texture of sago and tapioca. Cooking it with peas makes for a pleasantly spherical supper. It is a sort of soup dish, much like risi e bisi.

For 2
fregola 150g
frozen peas 100g
Light olive oil 1½ tbsp
smoked bacon 60g
banana shallot 1, thinly sliced
White wine 100ml
chicken or vegetable broth 400ml
butter 30g (2 tablespoons)
Parmesan cheese 30g, freshly grated
mint 3 branches, leaves picked and finely chopped

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the fregola for half of its cooking time, about 8 minutes, adding the peas for the last 2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water, then set aside.

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. If your bacon still has the rind, remove it and set aside. Using scissors, cut the bacon into 1cm pieces straight into the hot oil – adding the reserved rind for extra flavor – then let it sizzle and release its fat. Once the bacon is cooked and a bit crisp, remove it with a slotted spoon and set it aside; throw away the bark or give it to the birds.

Add the shallot to the remaining fat in the pan and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes, or until tender, stirring so that it doesn’t brown too much. Stir in the fregola and peas, then pour in the white wine. Once the wine has evaporated, add the broth. Bring to a boil and cook until the fregola is just cooked through, about 6 more minutes.

Return the bacon to the skillet, then add the butter and all but a tablespoon of Parmesan and mint. Stir over low heat for a few minutes, then cover and remove from heat. Let stand another minute before pouring into bowls. Spread over the rest of the parmesan and mint, then inhale – it’s super delicious.

From The Sunday Night Book by Rosie Sykes (Quadrille, £12.99)

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