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Spicy Fregola with Zucchini, Corn and Ricotta Cheese

Spicy Fregola with Zucchini, Corn and Ricotta Cheese


  • 2 cups fregola sarda or toasted Israeli couscous

  • Salt

  • 3 ears corn on cob OR 2 cups frozen fire-roasted corn

  • 3 tablespoons EVOO

  • 2 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 1

  • 2 shallots or 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 5-6 cloves garlic, grated or chopped, plus 2 reserved for later

  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or Aleppo pepper (milder and earthy) OR OPTIONAL 2 ounces 'nduja or Calabrian chili paste

  • 1 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano or Parmesan

  • 1 cup fresh sheep milk ricotta or cow's milk ricotta if using Parmesan

  • 1 cup small basil leaves, torn or chopped

  • A small handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped


Serves: 4

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.

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).