Italian Regional Recipes Primi Piatti: Pasta, Rice, Soups

Fregula, the Sardinian Pasta with Clams

Fregula (or even Fregola) is a Sardinian pasta made of semolina and it somewhat resembles a coarse cous cous. Usually it’s cooked with fresh clams.

Serves: 2 | Preparation time: 1 hr | Cooking time: 40 mins

  • Fish broth: 1 lt
  • Clams, small sized, fresh: 500 g
  • Cold water, 1 lt
  • Sea Salt, 35 g
  • Cherry Tomatoes, peeled: 200g
  • Packed Fregula pasta: 180 g
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO): 4 tbsp
  • Garlic: 2 cloves
  • Chili peppers: ½
  • White wine, dry: about 1 glass
  • Chopped Parsley: to taste
  • Salt and pepper: to taste


It is important to dose the water and salt in order to reproduce a salty water similar to sea water. Doses are 35 g of sea salt per litre of water.

Place the clams in a bowl with plenty of cold, salted water. Leave them to rest for 2 hours, occasionally changing the water; this will help to wash away the sand. Drain clams and throw away the water. Rinse the clams once more time under running water.

Heat up 2 tbsp of Evoo in a frying pan and add the clams. Pour in the wine and let it simmer on high heat for about 5 mins, cover with a lid. Leave the clams to open, turn off the heat.

Chop the parsley and peel the garlic cloves.

In another frying pan, heat up 2 tbs of Evoo, fry up the garlic and the chili pepper for a minute. Add tomatoes and the parsley and leave it to cook for about 10 minutes. Once ready, turn off the heat and remove the garlic.

Once the clams are cold, you can easily shell them; keep aside some whole clams to garnish the plates. Throw away the clams that did not open whilst cooking.

Add the clams and the fregula to the tomato sauce and stir the mixture over medium heat. Pour in enough fish soup to cover the fregola, and keep adding liquid as it evaporates, until the fregola has cooked through. Stir continuously; the process is similar to the one required to prepare a risotto.

Tip: Instead of fish soup, you can also use the water in which you cooked the clams.

Garnish each plate with some fresh chopped parsley and some whole clams ans serve.

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