Fregola is a Sardinian pasta made of semolina dough and rolled into small balls. I first had it at Vinoteca and have been itching to use it ever since. Much like at Vinoteca, it went into a fishy stew. Squid was scored so that it curled up in the heat and slow cooked with red wine, tomatoes and hot smoked paprika. Diced bacon gave a further undertone of smoke, with essential porcine flavours complementing the cephalod. Parsley added at the last minute and a squeeze of lemon on serving was all it needed to properly bring out the flavours.
Squid, Fregola & Cavalo Nero Stew
2 medium sized squid
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp hot smoked paprika
1 glass of red wine
A pinch of chilli flakes
1 stick of celery
2 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
1 tin of peeled plum tomatoes
A handful of peas
A few leaves of cavalo nero
A handful of parsley
Half an unwaxed lemon
Clean the squid and score it in a diamond pattern, slicing the body into 3. Fry the onion and the garlic in a little oil until softened and add the celery, finely diced.
Add the bacon, diced and fry for a good 5 or so minutes. Add the chilli flakes, hot smoked paprika and the squid, giving it a good stir to coat it all. Add the glass of red wine and simmer until reduced by half. Add the tin of tomatoes and the cavalo nero, chopped roughly and simmer slowly for 40 minutes, adding more water if it looks dry.
Boil a pan of water and add the fregola, simmer for 5 minutes. Drain, rinse and add to the squid. Add the peas and simmer for a further 10 mins, a little more if the pasta is still hard - the stew should be quite soupy so add more water if it's looking too thick.
To serve, chop the parsley and throw over. Zest the lemon into the stew and serve with the juice squeezed on top.