For a recent feature in Oregon Home Magazine...
Lauretta Jean’s owner Kate McMillen (life- and dinner party-partner to Wellspent’s own Noah Cable) shows how she uses Toasted Fregola in her twist on the classic Sicilian dish Pasta alla Norma. It’s an easy, (almost) one-pot recipe perfect for the summer/fall transition.
What You'll Need
For the shopping list
- 2 large shallots, finely chopped (3/4 cup)
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 serrano pepper, deseeded & minced
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 eggplant, cubed
- 1/2 ounce grated pecorino
- 1/2 cup plus more for garnish, chopped Basil
From the kitchen
- Dutch Oven, or similarly deep, heavy-bottomed pot
- Sheet Pan
- Chef’s Knife
- Cutting Board
- Cheese Grater
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
What you'll have to do
Step 1 — Heat oven to 425º, drizzle the cubed eggplant with a healthy dose of olive oil and season with salt. Roast on a sheet pan for 25 - 30 minutes until tender and browned. Toss halfway through baking for even browning.
Step 2 – In a dutch oven or similar deep pot, saute shallot in olive oil for 3 minutes until soft.
Step 3 — Add prepared garlic, serrano pepper & parsley. Saute 2 minutes, stirring often.
Step 4 — Add cherry tomatoes & chopped pepper. Add about a teaspoon of salt and several grinds of black pepper. Saute until the tomatoes have burst, about 5 minutes.
Step 5 — Add the can of tomatoes and their juices, let simmer for 10 minutes until thickened up a bit.
Step 6 — Add 2 ¼ cups water with the fregola. Simmer for about 15 minutes until the fregola is al dente.
Step 7 — Turn off the heat and let stand 5-10 minutes while the fregola soaks up the sauce and thickens a bit. Add the eggplant, stir in the grated pecorino, basil and the torn up mozzarella. Add salt and pepper.
Step 8 — Garnish with more basil.