The Club Esse recipe cookbook can only start with a typical Sardinian dish: the seafood fregola.
Whoever has been to Sardinia, or has Sardinian origins or friends, has heard or even tasted once in a lifetime the fregola, called also in Sardinian fregula or pistizone (AKA Italian cous cous). It is actually a kind of pasta very similar to couscous, made with durum wheat semolina and rolled in a large ceramic pot, until small irregular spheres with a typical flavor and color don’t ‘show up’, all ready to be dried and roasted in the oven.
The process with which the fregola is made is a heritage of Sardinian tradition, where in some areas the rite of producing this homemade pasta has been maintained as it was in ancient times, with a wise circular movement of hands.
The Sardinian fregola is cooked in many different traditional recipes: in particular it is prepared with clams or scallops. It is cooked in a soup or risotto. The typical recipe is the one with clams and bottarga (raw and sundried fish eggs), but it is excellent with all fish based sauces.
Of course, being a typical product of Sardinian gastronomy, it’s not that easy to find, but in local shops certainly can not be missed!
Here is the recipe by Antonio Mazzeo, executive chef of Club Esse Posada Beach Resort of Palau.
Ingredients for 4 people:
– 350 gr. of Sardinian fregola
– 350 gr. of mussels
– 350 gr. of clams
– 300 gr. of cockles
– ½ glass of white wine
– 10/12 cherry or piccadilly tomatoes
– 1 garlic wedge
– spicy oil, crushed chilli or powder (as much as you wish)
– chopped parsley
– extra virgin olive oil
Clean the mussels by removing the byssus with a firm move and remove the incrustations with the tip of a knife and then with a hard sponge.
Rinse very well the mussels and put them with the clams and the cockles to bleed in water and salt (about 35 grams of salt per liter of water) for at least 2 hours, changing the water from time to time, removing the sand that will settle on the bottom. Rinse well the seafood under running water and put them in a pan with a lid.
Let them open in a lively fire, filtering the broth with a strainer. Remove some of the seafood from their shells, keeping just some with the shell.
In the pan where you let the seafood open, brwon the garlic (whole or chopped, according to your preference) with oil and chilli, add the fregola and then roast it and let it toast as if it was a risotto (it will enhance its flavor).
Blend it with white wine and then add the chopped tomatoes and the filtered seafood stock (broth).
Let the fregola to cook, stirring occasionally and adding some stock as it retreats; add the seafood without the shells at the end of cooking. Adjust salt if necessary.
When the fregola is almost ready, take the cooking stock, add the seafood with their shells and plate it decorating the dish with chopped parsley.
And now Buon appetito! If you want to taste the original one, come and visit us at Club Esse Posada Beach Resort.