I was watching Giada at Home last weekend, and drooling over the amazing dishes she was making. There was one recipe that stood out, Fregola Salad with Broccoli, so I decided to make it that night. The grocery store didn’t have Fregola pasta, but Israeli couscous is a fine substitute. This pasta salad is great for any time of year and could be used for lunch or dinner, or even just a side dish. Gabe and I ate it for dinner, it was really fresh tasting with the lemon juice and zest, but also comforting enough to eat on a cold fall night. Buon appetito!

Fregola Salad with Broccoli 1

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Fregola Salad with Broccoli

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Total time: 55 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings



1 pound fregola or orzo pasta, or Israeli couscous
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups (about 10 ounces) cipollini onions, peeled and halved, or quartered if large
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound broccoli, cut into small florets
1/3 cup water
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

2 large lemons, zested and juiced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 3/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cup (about 1 ounce) chopped fresh chives


For the salad: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and place in a large serving bowl. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until golden and tender, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until aromatic. Add the broccoli and sauté for 1 minute. Add the water and scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Cover the pan and cook until the broccoli is tender, about 4 minutes. Add the beans and cook for 1 minute until warmed through. Transfer the onion mixture to the serving bowl. Add the Parmesan cheese and toss with the pasta.

For the dressing: In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, honey, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Whisk until smooth. Stir in the chives.

Pour the dressing over the pasta and toss well until coated. Season with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons of pepper and serve.

Recipe inspired by Giada De Laurentiis.