Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Sardinian Suppertime!

Fregola Sarda con Carciofini, Pancetta & Zenzero
Sardinian Fregola with Baby Artichokes, Bacon & Ginger

Well, it seems, according to one of my Facebook colleagues, that Fregola is all the go at the moment here in Germany... who knew? Not me in any case! I just made it because it is a cool thing to eat- trendy or not! How could I even know what is trendy in restaurants at the moment anyway... everybody KNOWS that I eat in every night... my pictures on here are proof of the fact too!

But I digress... this evenings supper was indeed fregola, combined with baby artichokes, bacon and ginger- simple but exquisite! Oh... and so "hip" right now- haha!

If indeed, this IS all the go, it is probably for the simple reason that it is inexpensive, basic stuff, that can be flavored in any number of ways. It is very similar to Israeli couscous or barley to prepare... and this evenings preparation was a kind of cross between those 2 things... but with one singular result. And that is- that it was delicious!

For 2 good servings I needed 1 teacupful of fregola, 1 small onion, a little fresh ginger, a handful of finely diced bacon, 6 baby artichokes, fresh rosemary and parsley, salt, pepper, chili flakes and a little chicken stock to taste.

Chewier than risotto or risoni, fregola has a consistency that can be compared to pearl barley- and as will all 3 of those things, it is perfect at taking on plenty of flavors in the broth that it cooks in- which made it perfect to add to these lovely baby artichokes!

I began by trimming away the outer leaves of the artichokes, chopping off the top third of the leaves and then cutting them into quarters. I steamed them in just a little water, along with about 1 1/2 " of fresh ginger, relatively finely chopped, until all of said water had evaporated away/cooked into the artichokes- for around 5-6 minutes.

In the meantime, I finely chopped the bacon, onion, rosemary and the stalks of the parsley- and then when the pan was dry again, I added them and gave everything a good stir-fry together for 3-4 minutes.

As soon as the bacon and onion began to brown, I deglazed the frying pan with enough boiling water to cover the base and then let that simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Next came the fregola, which soon soaked up all of the juices.

The next step, was to add enough boiling water to well cover the artichokes and to simmer everything together for the next 9-10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. 

After around 10 minutes, all of that water had been absorbed and the fregola had almost doubled in size. At this point, I tasted the broth to see if it need more seasoning, and as it did, I added just a teaspoon or so of chicken stock granules (ok- I admit it- I did!)- which I preferred rather than simply adding salt- but I will leave that up to you! In any case... I then added the same amount of water again- and let it simmer for a further 10 minutes! Yes- it does take time to cook!

But, after 25 minutes or so of cooking, finally both the artichokes and the fregola were perfect to be finished with a good sprinkle of chili flakes or pepper, plenty of parsley and a nice drizzle of olive oil. And then... to the table!

And THAT my friends, is what I would call a pretty amazing supper! Oh yes indeed!

Care to taste a spoonful?

No comments:

Post a Comment