Fregola is a kind of pasta typical of Sardinia. I was so excited to cook this dish today as sardinian blood runs into my veins. I am afraid you won’t find fregola in Joburg but pearl couscous will do nicely! A special thank to Ileana and Mercurio for this recipe.


350g fregola
200g mussels
200g clams
200g prawns
100g shrimps
100g calamari rings
2 tbsp whole peeled tomatoes (blended)
200g cherry tomatoes
1 garlic clove
1,5lt hot vegetable stock
Extra virgin olive oil








Soak the clams in a bowl of cold salted water (1 fistful of coarse salt) for 30 minutes and give them a shake occasionally, so that they expel the sand. Drain the clams and repeat the process 1-2 more times. Set aside the clams when you’re done.

If you didn’t buy scrubbed and debearded mussels, then you’ll have to clean them as follows.
Arrange a colander into the kitchen sink. Put the mussels in and rinse them under cold water scrubbing any muddy spot with an abrasive sponge. Debeard the mussels by grasping the beard between your thumb and forefinger and pull it downwards towards the hinged-end of the mussel shell. Pull firmly until it comes out and discard.
Rinse the calamari rings and the prawns.

Let’s make soffritto now. In a large sauce pan, heat 5 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil over a low heat. Finely chop 1 tbsp of parsley and put into the pan. Squeeze a garlic clove and add it to the pan. Gently fry for 1 minute.

Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and add them to the pan. Add the clams, the mussels and cook until the shells open up. Add the calamari rings, the shrimps and the prawns. Add the whole peeled blended tomatoes. Salt at your taste. Cook for 10 minutes over a medium-low heat.

Filter the sauce into a bowl to separate it from the seafood. Put the seafood back into the pan, turn up the flame and pour the wine. Allow the alcohol to evaporate by cooking over a high flame for 2-3 minutes. Put the red sauce back into the pan. Switch off the heat.

Put 3-4 tbsp of e.v. olive oil into a saucepan. Add the fregola and toast over a low flame for 1 minute, stirring with a spatula. Add 3-4 ladles of vegetable stock and cook over a medium flame, adding more stock until the fregola is cooked.

Season the fregola with the seafood sauce. Add a sprinkle of chopped parsley and a nice drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.