Fregola risotto, a recipe by Chef Michel Roux

Serves: 2

Prep: 40min

Difficulty: medium

So last week something beautiful happened, I had the occasion to see the world famous Chef Michel Roux, yes that Michel Roux of Le Gavroche in London, at work. He was giving a cooking lesson, there was a huge crowd of people willing to catch his secrets but I managed to squeeze myself in and reach the pole position. He started with an Italian recipe, I felt thrilled! It has been an amazing lesson, very interactive and funny. I love meeting people with a special light in their eyes, people that love what they do, Michel Roux is one of them. After the lesson, I ran to him, I introduced myself and I asked (without thinking twice) if I could show the recipe to you, he smiled back and here we are with the consent of the incredible Chef Michel Roux, I present to you Fregola Risotto with Tiger Prawns.

Mamma Flora’s Tip: Fregola or Fregula is a type of pasta from Sardinia region. It is made of semolina dough, rolled into small balls and toasted in an oven

Ingredients:

  • 120gr fregola
  • 6 tiger prawns
  • 1 shallot peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 160ml dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 60gr nduja (it is a spicy spreadable pork salumi from Calabria)
  • ½ tbsp mascarpone
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • romaine or little gem lettuce leaves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp flaked almond
  • salt

Tools:

  • 1 saucepan
  • 1 pot
  • 1 sieve

Method:

Stock:

  • Shell and devein the prawns (once shelled, use a sharp knife to make a slit along the middle of the back to expose the dark vein then pull out the vein), crush the heads and the shells in a saucepan, add the garlic, the thyme and bay. Cook over high heat with ½ tbsp olive oil until they become golden
  • Add the wine, make sure the alcohol evaporates then add 1l of water. Let it simmer for 15min and pass through a sieve Now we have the stock ready for our risotto

Dressing:

  • In a hot dry pan, toast the flaked almonds and put aside. In the same pan add 1 tbsp of olive oil and sear the prawns until golden, remove the prawns and put aside. In the same pan add the nduja to melt releasing the oils. We will use them to dress the risotto when finished

Risotto:

  • In a pot, add the chopped shallot with the butter, cook at low heat for 2-3 min, add the fregola. Toast the fregola (as when you do for risotto) for 3-4 min. Start adding slowly some stock, add every time the fregola dries until it’s tender but still crunchy, approximately 15min
  • Take the pot out of the heat and add the mascarpone and salt, mix everything gently together and let it rest few minutes
  • Dress the risotto in a bowl plate with the flaked almonds on top, the melt nduja and its oil and the prawns. Grate some lemon zest and finish with the lettuce leaves drizzled with olive oil
  • Enjoy Michel Roux Fregola Risotto recipe!