Fregola and River Cottage Chops

We give advice by the bucket, but take it by the grain. Tom StoppardFregola 4

Anson Mills is a wonderful source for several grains and I have enjoyed every product that I have ordered for many years now, the best variety of grits, polenta, rice, faro varieties etc. are always staples in my “pantry”, I say pantry, but I actually keep most items in the freezer since I only order every few months and don’t want to lose a single grain to pesky little pantry months that hitch a ride from grocery store products every now and then.  To read all about Anson Mills I have placed link to their “all about” page, enjoy.

While I pondered this week’s contribution to a favorite cooking club and have several choices I settled upon plan “B” of choice Fregola Sarda (semolina) pasta similar to couscous straying from the Ellie Krieger option once again.  Easy one pot dishes with a few fresh ingredients are always a favorite on a busy night and today would be better spent doing something else…

Savory Fregola Sarda
Serves 2-4

1 cup Fregola Sarda, the larger fregola takes more broth so test for doneness like you would rice or pasta
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 cloves of Garlic finely minced
a couple of small bay leaves
A bunch of cherry or grape tomatoes
* optional 1 teaspoon basil paste
1-2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
sprinkling of red pepper flakes
several chopped parsley leaves
chopped fresh basil leaves to add to finished fregola
grated parmesan or a combination of Romano and parma
1 handful Fresh Basil Leaves
Drizzles if EVOO for finished dish

fregola 6Fregola5

In a sauté pan, sauté the onion, garlic in a tablespoon or so of EVOO over medium heat. Add the fregola parsley, basil leaves and pepper flakes, stir to toast a bit and add 1 cup of the broth and simmer for 7 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed then add the tomatoes and basil paste.  Test a grain or two and if you need more broth add another cup.  Stir, season with salt, pepper and cover the pan.  I like to add the tomatoes for just the last few minutes of cooking time or until they just pop open and not melt down to nothing in the sauce.  Reduce heat to low, let the fregola simmer until slightly al dente. To finish place fregola into a serving dish, add in the remaining parsley, basil leaves, drizzle with a little EVOO and sprinkle cheese over.   Transfer to a platter, and add the torn basil leaves, a drizzle of Extra Virgin olive oil, and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper.Serve with shredded pecorino or blend of theses cheese.

Pork Chops with Anchovies

Pork chops with Anchovies, Rosemary, Garlic and Pepper
Adapted from River Cottage

1 tablespoon EVOO
4 good-sized pork chops on the bone  (I opted for smaller chops that take less time to cook)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper or The Spice House  Bavarian Seasoning
8–10 anchovies (use less if you want to)
6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 dried chillies, deseeded and very thinly sliced or sub a not so hot chili like peppadews
4 tender sprigs of rosemary
100 ml water or cider

Place a large pan over a medium heat and add the oil. Season the pork chops all over with salt and pepper, then add them to the pan.

Cook for 4–5 minutes on the first side, then flip them over and add the anchovies, garlic, chillies and rosemary,

allowing the flavourings to fall in amongst and around the chops. Keep moving the contents of the pan around as you finish cooking the chops – they will need 4–5 minutes on their second side.

Remove them to a warm plate to rest. Toss the garlic and rosemary around the pan, then add the water or cider. Bring

quickly to a simmer, with a shake and a stir, then let bubble until reduced down by half. Pour the reduced liquor over the chops and serve. This is good with roasted squash wedges.