Saffron-Scented Fregola with Marinated Cuttlefish Recipe


Cal/Serving: 526
Daily Value: 26%
Servings: 6

Balanced, High-Fiber
Sugar-Conscious, Dairy-Free
Vitamin A973IU19%
Vitamin C17mg29%
Thiamin (B1)0mg10%
Riboflavin (B2)1mg45%
Niacin (B3)4mg20%
Vitamin B60mg15%
Folic Acid (B9)43µg11%
Vitamin B122µg38%
Vitamin D0µg0%
Vitamin E3mg15%
Vitamin K61µg76%
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated13g0%
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated2g0%
Have a question about the nutrition data? Let us know.

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Saffron-Scented Fregola with Marinated Cuttlefish
Francesco Tonelli

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.



  • 1 pound fresh whole cuttlefish, cleaned
  • 1/4 cup chopped fennel or dill fronds
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 quarts meat or shellfish broth, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1/4 cup minced shallot
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound fregola
  • 5-6 ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


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.

Recipe Details

Adapted from "Pasta: Classic and Contemporary Pasta, Risotto, Crespelle, and Polenta Recipes" by Gianni Scappin, Alberto Vanoli, and Francesco Tonelli (John Wiley & Sons, 2013)

Servings: 6
Cuisine: Italian

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