Fregola Sarda with Heirloom Tomato and Ricotta Salata

Fregola Sarda
Photo by Aaron Graubart / Food stlying by Leslie Orlandini

Courtesy David Nayfeld, co-owner/executive chef, Che Fico Alimentari, San Francisco

An offshoot of San Francisco’s acclaimed Che Fico restaurant, the new Che Fico Alimentari is a Roman-influenced wine bar/grocery that offers a selection of imported and housemade salumi, antipasti and breads. This quick yet elegant pasta salad showcases some of the venue’s—and Italy’s—finest products. Fregola sarda is a small, spherical pasta from Sardinia. If you can’t find it, pearl couscous makes a fine substitute.

How to Make a Simple, Easy Pasta Dough
  • 1 cup fregola sarda
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more, for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons capers, chopped
  • 12 pitted Taggiasca olives (or other small olives), halved
  • ½ cup crumbled ricotta salata
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, plus more, for garnish
  • Salt, to taste
  • 12 ounces heirloom tomatoes, sliced into thin wedges
  • 6 oil-cured anchovy fillets
  • Fresh black pepper, to finish

Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add fregola sarda and cook until just tender, about 14 minutes. Drain pasta, and transfer to large bowl. Let cool to room temperature.

Add olive oil, vinegar, capers, olives, cheese and parsley to pasta, and toss to combine. Season with salt, to taste.

Arrange pasta and tomatoes on serving plates, and lay anchovies on top. Crack black pepper atop plate as desired. Drizzle with olive oil, and garnish with herbs. Serves 2.

Pair It

Keunhof 2017 Kaiton Eisacktaler Riesling (Alto Adige). “This wine is a balance of mineral and fruit with well-tempered electricity that runs through it like a livewire, vibrant and balanced,” says Francesca Maniace, wine director at Che Fico Alimentari. “This Riesling acts as another ingredient in the dish to lift and balance.”

Published on June 22, 2019
About the Author
Nils Bernstein
Contributing Editor, Food

A fan of sweet wines, sour beers, and old-school Rioja, Bernstein is an exhaustive traveler in search of new and unsung chefs and restaurants, innovative wine and food pairings, and eating and drinking at the source. In addition to Wine Enthusiast, Bernstein has written for Bon Appetit, Men’s Journal, New York Times, Men’s Fitness, Hemispheres, and Kinfolk, among others.


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