Saffron-Scented Fregola with Marinated Cuttlefish

Saffron-Scented Fregola with Marinated Cuttlefish
Staff Writer
Saffron-Scented Fregola with Marinated Cuttlefish

Francesco Tonelli

Saffron-Scented Fregola with Marinated Cuttlefish

Fregola is a type of pasta that hails from Sardinia, an island located off the west coast of Italy. Its chewy texture and appearance are reminiscent of Israeli couscous, so if you can't find fregola, it will make a decent substitute in this dish; just adjust the cooking time appropriately to make sure it retains its pleasant chewiness.

Click here to see A Pasta Cookbook for All Seasons.


Cut the cuttlefish in strips. In a bowl, toss the cuttlefish together with the fennel or dill fronds, ¼ cup of the olive oil, and salt. Let the cuttlefish marinate at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.

Bring the broth to a simmer over medium heat in a saucepan. Add the saffron and let it steep until the broth is a rich, golden yellow color. Keep the broth hot.

Heat the remaining oil in a large pot over low heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallot is tender and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the fregola and the tomatoes and stir to coat evenly with the oil.

Add enough of the broth to cover the fregola by ½ inch, and cook, stirring occasionally. As the fregola absorb the broth, keep adding more, and cook until the fregola are tender but still have a bit of bite, about 12 minutes. (They should be quite moist, with a loose but not soupy consistency.)

Add the cuttlefish and the parsley and continue to cook just until the cuttlefish is cooked, for 2 more minutes. Season with pepper, to taste. Serve at once on heated plates.


Calories per serving:

526 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Balanced, High Fiber Sugar Conscious, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Milk Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Pork Free, Alcohol Free, No Sugar Added

Daily value:



  • Fat 19g 30%
  • Carbs 64g 21%
  • Saturated 3g 13%
  • Fiber 5g 20%
  • Sugars 2g
  • Monounsaturated 13g
  • Polyunsaturated 2g
  • Protein 23g 46%
  • Cholesterol 85mg 28%
  • Sodium 538mg 22%
  • Calcium 115mg 11%
  • Magnesium 70mg 18%
  • Potassium 602mg 17%
  • Iron 6mg 33%
  • Zinc 2mg 14%
  • Phosphorus 447mg 64%
  • Vitamin A 132µg 15%
  • Vitamin C 17mg 29%
  • Thiamin (B1) 0mg 11%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 1mg 45%
  • Niacin (B3) 4mg 20%
  • Vitamin B6 0mg 15%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 43µg 11%
  • Vitamin B12 2µg 38%
  • Vitamin D 0µg 0%
  • Vitamin E 3mg 15%
  • Vitamin K 63µg 79%
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