Fregole with clams
A less internationally popular tourist destination than the Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast), this stretch of shoreline is wild, rocky and very loved by snorkeling fans for the richness of its depths and the beautiful colours of its waters. My wife and I particularly liked this area, so that we went back for the second time. The seaboard here is steep, and, as is often the case, the old town is not on the seafront, but further inland. Along the river banks, in front of the old town, there is a series of unique buildings, old tanneries that are being restored. We ate fregole with clams under these palm trees, outdoors, facing a beautiful view.
Ingredients (serves 4 people)
9 oz of durum wheat flour 2.2 lbs of clams 2-3 cloves of garlic olive oil chopped up parsley 3 tablespoons of tomato sauce ½ cup of dry white wine 1 chilli 4.5 cups of vegetable broth
The singularity of this dish lies in the type of pasta. Fregole, in fact, are made from fresh pasta, obtained from durum wheat flour. They are handmade: you have to rub your hands to make them, hence the name (from the verb to rub: sfregare). Obviously, it is possible to buy dry ready-made fregole, even if it is not easy to find them outside of Sardinia.
To begin with, spread out the durum wheat flour in a large bowl and slowly pour a glass of lukewarm salted water over it. Knead the dough with your fingers, until you have obtained balls about 0.20 inches in diameter. Lay them out to dry on a towel for about 12 hours. Once dry, they must be further dried in the oven for a short time, so arrange them on baking paper, turn the oven on, heat it to 300 °F and bake your fregole for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, soak the clams in cold salted water and leave them to clean for about 3 hours, changing the water frequently. Take a frying pan and brown 2-3 cloves of garlic and chilli in olive oil, then add in the clams and sprinkle them with wine. Stir and cover the pan with a lid. Cook over fairly high flame for a few minutes until the clams open. Put your fregole in a separate pan and brown them in a little oil and garlic. Then add the tomato sauce and a pinch of salt. When the sauce has congealed a little, pour hot vegetable broth into the pan, little by litte, one spoonful at a time and keep cooking for about 15 minutes, until the fregole have slightly swollen. Now pour them into the pan containing the clams and pan-fry them for a few minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.