Fregolone pasta looks like small, hard nuggets and is made in the southern parts of Sardinia. It is made from semolina flour and water, rubbed together by hand to form the nuggets, which are dried and toasted. It is often used in seafood soups and in seafood dishes with clams and shrimp, but it also works well in this peppy salad.
2 eschallots, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp chopped mint
3 green onions, sliced
2 tbsp barberries, soaked in water for 10 minutes
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp whole-grain mustard
salt and pepper
In a medium-sized saucepan over a medium heat, melt the butter then add the eschalots and garlic and cook gently until they are soft and translucent. Add the bay leaves and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the fregolone and water and bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook over a low heat until all the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes.
When cooked, remove the lid and spread the cooked fregolone on a plate to cool.
Add the green onions, drained barberries and mint to a large bowl. Cut the apple into 5 millimetre matchsticks and add to the bowl. For the dressing, put the oil, vinegar and mustard in a small jar and shake well.
When the fregolone has cooled, add it to the bowl and pour over the dressing. Mix gently, season with salt and pepper and serve.
Tip: Cooked, undressed fregolone will keep for a couple of days to make the salad later. If you can't find fregolone, use the larger fregola instead.