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Fregola with Asparagus and Lemon

If you have never tried Fregola Sarda, then you should! Fregola (also known as fregula) is a semolina pasta hailing from Sardinia, Italy. It’s similar to pearl couscous which is made of wheat. It consists of tiny rolled balls which have been sun-dried then toasted, lending a satisfying and unique nutty flavor and mottled texture. Fregola is delicious on its own, served simply with olive oil, sea salt and a dusting of cheese, in soups, or combined with vegetables and fresh herbs as a side dish or light meal. A Spice & Tea Co. favorite is served with Almond Crusted, LemonPepper Salmon.

Serves 6

Ingredients:
½ pound thin asparagus
4 cups chicken stock
8 oz Pinch 'n Rub Fregola Sarda
Stillwater Olive Oil Company Abrosana Extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp Pinch 'n Rub  Diced Dried Shallots
1 tsp Pinch 'n Rub Toasted Minced Garlic (can use a fresh clove, minced)
½ tsp Pinch 'n Rub  Red Chili Flakes
2 tsp Pinch 'n Rub  Lemon Pepper
½ cup grated Pecorino cheese (can use Romano), plus extra for garnish
½ tsp Pinch 'n Rub  Himalayan Pink Salt,
½ tsp Pinch 'n Rub  Medium GroundBlack Pepper

Directions: 
Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large pot. Add fregola. Cook until al dente, about 15 min., drain.
While the fregola are cooking, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add asparagus and sauté 3 to 4 minutes.
Add shallots, garlic and red pepper flakes. Saute an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and dice the asparagus into ½ “ pieces. Leaving 1 ½ “ of the tips (reserve a few for garnish).

Add fregola and asparagus to sauté pan and toss to combine. If the fregola are too sticky, add another table spoon of olive oil. Remove from heat. Stir in asparagus, lemon pepper, ¼ cup cheese, ½ tsp Himalayan Pink salt and black pepper.

Serve warm, garnished with reserved asparagus tips, extra cheese and a sprinkle of fresh lemon zest.

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