Fregola or Fregolone Pasta

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Considered to be a type of pasta originating in North Africa during ancient times, Fregola is very small in size, similar to soup pastas, and is sometimes mistaken as a grain. This pasta is common in Italy where it is often associated with the Sardinia region and is also prevalent in other parts of Europe as well as Africa. Fregola is handmade with semolina and water, then rubbed by hand to form pellets of pasta. They are then toasted to give them a nutty flavor. Fregola is traditionally cooked by boiling in salty water until the pellets are "al dente." When fregola is cooked it has a chewy texture but it is not gummy, and it is more flavorful than couscous. There are two main sizes, one that is small and referred to as Fregola Pasta and one that is larger that is known as Fregolone Pasta.

When prepared, the Fregola or Fregolone Pasta is fairly versatile and is combined with many other ingredients. It is often served in soups with shellfish such as clams or shrimp. Clams and shrimp are also often added to make a main dish combined with white or red sauce. Some poultry stuffing recipes may use this pasta as a key ingredient. Or, it can be simply served with a tomato sauce and grated cheese. Although not as common, Fregola or Fregolone can be prepared for use in salads with a variety of different ingredients. This pasta may also be referred to as Sardinian couscous or Italian couscous.

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