Coucous Emiliana | Pearl Couscous with Pancetta, Peas and Asparagus

I adore Fregola, a Sardinian toasted semolina pasta, but it is almost impossible to find in the states. The other day I was craving a Fregola dish I had at a trattoria in the marina of Porto Cervo. That morning I had indulged in a few too many Sardinian Seadas, a honey and cheese pastry. I asked our server for a light but traditional local dish. He recommended Fregola with pancetta, peas, and asparagus. I decided to try to make this dish by substituting Israeli pearl couscous for the Fregola. It turned out to be so easy and delicious! It is now one of my family’s favorites! Serve with a chilled glass of crisp Centanni Falerio.

Receipt Date: August 27, 2020
Difficulty: Easy
Measurements: Imperial (US)

See ingredients, directions and pairings.


1-1/4 cup Broth, I use Vegetable Broth but Chicken or Beef Broth would be delicious

1 cup Israeli Pearl Couscous

1 cup Pancetta, cubed

1 cup Asparagus, cut into 1/2" pieces

1/2 cup Shallots, chopped

2 tablespoons EVOO

Sea Salt, to taste


Add the EVOO to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until it begins to turn golden. Add in the shallots, stirring to combine. Cook until the shallots are bronzed. Add the couscous, stirring to mix well. Stir in the broth and asparagus. Be sure the broth is very hot before you incorporate it. Add a pinch of sea salt as desired. Cover and simmer for about 8-10 minutes or as directed on box. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of grated Pecorino cheese and freshly cracked pepper.

Amy’s Favorite Pairing

Centanni-FALERIO D.O.C.G

$32.00 750 ml

Additional Pairings

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