Fregola is a pasta that is said to have originated in Sardinia. Some call it Sardininan cous cous because it is very similar to its counterpart Israeli cous cous. It is made with semolina flour that is rolled into little balls and then toasted. The toasting is unique to this type of pasta and isn't found elsewhere. It is the toasting process that really sets this pasta apart, adding a depth of flavor, aroma and earthiness that is truly amazing.
Fregola is found in specialty markets and on-line. It isn't very common in the US but it is gaining popularity especially in authentic Italian kitchens. It is traditionally served with a shellfish and tomato stew of sorts but is also a great vessel for any flavor you might like to add. It is great in salads and as a side dish.
It is cooked just like any other pasta, blanched in simmering water until al dente. You can also cook it like cous cous where you pour boiling water over it and let it steep until tender. It is very versatile and a lot of fun to work with and it is one of my all time favorite pastas from this region. Expect to see more of this pasta in the near future!