Something fun about risotto is that you can use all different types of grains – and this case, you can even use pasta! I call this fregotto, and it’s essentially fregola cooked in the style of risotto. The result is a rich and creamy dish with a great texture from fregola – and I like to top it off with a drizzle of a fantastic olive oil.
Fregola is a toasted pasta from the island of Sardinia off of mainland Italy, and the roasting process gives it such a delicious nutty flavor and a great chew. I consider this to be my take on a Sardinian risotto for that reason!
Fregotto (Fregola Risotto)
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- ¼ cup half stick unsalted butter
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped very fine
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 pound fregola
- 1/4 cup mascarpone
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice, from one lemon
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more for serving
- Good quality extra virgin olive oil, for serving
- Lemon zest, for serving
- Add the broth to a saucepan, and gently warm up on the stove top over very low heat.
- Melt the butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and heat for 1 to 2 more minutes.
- Stir in the dry fregola and mix to combine with the onions and garlic. Add the wine, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of hot broth; simmer over medium-low heat until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook until the fregola is just tender and the mixture is creamy, adding more broth by cupfuls and stirring often, about 20 minutes (the fregola will absorb 6 to 8 cups of broth).
- Once the fregola is tender and the mixture is creamy, add the kosher salt, mascarpone, lemon juice and Parmigiano. Stir gently until the mascarpone appears fully mixed through. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve hot into bowls and top with extra Parmigiano, a drizzle of olive oil and lemon zest.