This small Sardinian pasta shape is very similar to mograbia or giant couscous. It’s brilliant for this flavoursome Spring broth being both filling and light, and the texture works perfectly with chunky, bright green in-season asparagus and lots of fresh herbs.
You should be able to find fregola in any good local deli, or online if not.
Cook time: 20 minutes
Photography: Safia Shakarchi
Food Styling: Hattie Arnold
2 tbsp olive oil (plus more to serve)
2 small shallots, finely sliced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
300ml vegetable or chicken stock
250g asparagus, sliced into 5cm batons
Large handful soft herbs (mint, basil, flat leaf parsley)
Parmesan or other hard cheese, to serve
Salt and pepper to taste
Add the fregola to a pot of generously salted boiling water. Cook for 8 minutes, until very al dente. Drain, reserving a cup of the pasta cooking water.
Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pan and add the shallots, cooking on a medium heat until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more before adding the pasta water and stock. Simmer for 5 minutes, before adding the fregola into the pan with the asparagus.
Simmer for a further 3-4 minutes stirring often until the broth has thickened and both the fregola and asparagus are tender. Take off the heat and stir in the chopped herbs. Season with black pepper and more salt if needed. Add the lemon juice and serve with grated cheese and a final drizzle of olive oil.