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«This beautiful, easy vegetable-based dish can be made year-round,» says Rach. We can get zucchini anytime. For the corn, use fresh when it’s in season and frozen when it’s not. Fregola is toasted pearl pasta from Sardinia that’s readily available online or in Italian food markets. A great substitute is Israeli couscous, which is available in most large supermarkets. Israeli couscous isn’t toasted, though, so simply put 2 cups on a sheet pan in a moderately hot oven until golden, and then follow the recipe below.
For another recipe that uses fregola, check out Scott Conant’s Pork and Veal Meatballs with Fregola Pasta + Broccoli Rabe Salsa Verde.
- 2 cups fregola sarda or toasted Israeli couscousSalt3 ears corn on cob OR 2 cups frozen fire-roasted corn3 tablespoons EVOO2 small firm zucchini, ¼ inch dice (3-4 cups); if zucchini is larger, halve and seed with spoon, then chop and you’ll only need 12 shallots or 1 small onion, finely chopped5-6 cloves garlic, grated or chopped, plus 2 reserved for later1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or Aleppo pepper (milder and earthy) OR OPTIONAL 2 ounces ‘nduja or Calabrian chili paste1 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano or Parmesan1 cup fresh sheep milk ricotta or cow’s milk ricotta if using Parmesan1 cup small basil leaves, torn or choppedA small handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
Bring water to boil for fregola and cook 1 minute less than package directions in well-salted boiling water, then reserve half a mug of water and drain.
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Meanwhile, if using fresh corn on the cob, grill inside or out until charred. Cool a bit, then scrape kernels from cobs or pour out 2 cups frozen fire-roasted corn kernels. Heat EVOO in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and lightly brown the zucchini with the shallots. Add the corn, garlic and red pepper or melt in ‘nduja or stir in paste. Once combined, add fregola, reserved water, remaining 2 cloves of grated garlic, cheeses and half the basil and mint. Stir and transfer to serving bowl or shallow individual bowls and top with remaining basil and mint and a drizzle of Calabrian chili paste (optional).