Fregola Sarda with Scampi and Fennel. Let’s talk flavor. This dish has a wonderful fregola pasta that is nice and al dente, infused with a rich broth made with the shells and vegetable broth. Topping this wonderful dish a succulent tender flavorful scampi, which is similar to the taste and texture of lobster. A balanced, beautiful dish that would be a hit for the night before Christmas!
- 120 g Fregola Sarda
- 2 Tbsp evo oil
- 1 small shallot minced
- 1/2 a fennel cut into a fine dice
- Zest of 1 mandarin
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- The shells of the 6 scampi
- 6 scampi shells on
- The juice of one mandarin orange
- 1 Tbsp evo oil
- Salt and pepper
- A few sprigs of fennel tops
- a drizzle of olive oil
- Peel the shells off the scampi, leaving the tails on. Place in a bowl.
- Peel a mandarin and squeeze half of the pieces over the scampi, and place the rest of the mandarin in the bowl with the scampi. Cover with plastic wrap and into the fridge for an hour.
- Pour broth into a medium saucepan. Add the bay leaf, and also all the scampi shells. Stir and bring to a medium to low heat. Pour broth into another sauce pot through a sieve. This will give you a nice filtered broth. Leave on the stove on very low heat.
- In a medium sauté pan, drizzle in olive oil. Toss in diced fennel, season with salt and pepper, and bring to medium-high heat, tossing frequently until nice and golden on the edges.
- Take out of pan and place in a ramekin for later. Do not wash the pan, we are going to use this pan for the scampi.
- In a large medium-deep sauté pan drizzle in olive oil. Toss in minced shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook for about two minutes.
- Throw in fregola and stir. Toast for one minute.
- Begin by covering the fregola with a few ladles of broth. Continually stir until all the broth has dissipated a fair bit.
- Add another ladle of broth and stir again. Continue this for about 15-18 minutes or until the fregola has an al dente texture. Taste for seasoning and add if necessary.
- Turn off the heat and zest the mandarin into the fregola, furthermore, toss in the seared diced fennel. Stir until well incorporated. Cover and let sit for a minute or two.
- While the fregola is at its last stage of cooking, take the pan you sautéed the fennel in and add some more olive oil. Place in the scampi, tails on, toss, and cook for one to two minutes. Turn off heat.
- Give the fregola a quick stir. Scoop some fregola onto a plate. Top with three scampi, drizzle with evo oil (optional), and top with some of the fennel tops.
- Ready to serve!
If you find the scampi whole with the head on, use the head and shells in the broth. Remember to leave the tails on and also to devein the scampi.
Double the recipe if it is more than two of you.