Fregola is a toasted wheat pasta that is shaped into little balls. It has a nice chewy heartiness and can be ordered online. It is great in many things including minestrone soup. You can also substitute the pasta with large pearl couscous. It will be slightly less toothy but just a s delicious.
3 shallots per person
1/2 cup of fregola per person
1/2 Tablespoon butter
1 small clove of garlic
A 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat your oven to 350º
Peel and slice the shallots in half lengthwise. If they are larger shallots, slice the halves in half again. Place the shallots on a baking sheet. Drizzle in olive oil and coat the shallots- about 1+1/2 teaspoon per 3 shallots but no need to measure. Sprinkle them with a hefty pinch of kosher salt (about 1/4 teaspoon). Roast the shallots cut side up until they soften and the edges get brown— about 25-30 minutes.
Add the butter and garlic to a medium saucepan. I like to use a garlic press here but you can also mince the garlic by hand. Cook over medium low heat until the butter melts and the garlic starts to soften- about 5 minutes. Add the fregola and cover it with water so that there is 1 inch of water above the fregola.
Simmer stirring every 2 minutes. Check for done-ness after 9 minutes. Add a little more water, about 1/2 cup, if the fregola starts to stick.
The porridge is done when the fregola is chewy but tender. You’ll have to take a bite fo one to be sure. Another way of knowing you are close to done is when the liquid that remains in the pot looks porridgey, which is to say glossy, soupy, and starchy all at once.
Taste for salt and add a bit more if you feel it needs it.
To plate, serve the porridge in a bowl with the shallots on top and to the side. If you are serving it with the chicken. Slice the chicken and top the porridge with it.