Fregola Sarda with mussels and saffron

Fregola Sarda are rolled balls of semolina. A specialty in Sardinia, this dish heroes the distinct flavours of the sea and is perfect for any occasion.


  • • 400g fregola, available at Italian delicatessens
  • • 40ml extra virgin olive oil
  • • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • • 1 pinch dried chilli flakes
  • • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • • 200ml light bodied Italian dry white wine (Rosetta use a Grillo from Sicily)
  • • 200g tomatoes, roughly chopped with skin on
  • • 1.5kg mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
  • • ½ bunch basil, leaves picked


  1. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and cook fregola for 7 minutes. Drain, but do not rinse.
  2. In a large pot over low-medium heat, cook garlic, chilli and saffron until garlic loses its raw smell; do not allow the garlic to colour.
  3. Add wine and tomato to stop the garlic from colouring, increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Add mussels, cover and cook until mussels have opened, about 3 minutes.
  4. Return fregola to the pot, add basil and stir until it wilts.
  5. Divide between 4 bowls and serve immediately.