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Fregola and Mafalde

Asked by mercotmanor. Answered on 19th October 2012

Full question

I can't seem to find fregola, used by Nigella in Nigellissima, in the usual supermarkets, any ideas?

Where can I buy mafalde pasta from as most supermarkets do not stock it. Can buy it on line? Simons33.

Our answer

Mafalde is a type of pasta, originating from Naples, which is similar to a pappardelle or wide tagiatelle with a frilly edge. Nigella uses it in her recipe for Curly-Edged Pasta with Lamb Ragu in Nigellissima and describes it is "like pappardelle with a party dress on".

Fregola is a type of pasta which originates from Sardinia and it is in the shape of small balls. Nigella uses it in Sardinian Cous Cous with Clams in Nigellissima.

Unfortunately these pastas aren't always stocked by large supermarkets but if you have a good Italian deli in your area then this is certainly worth trying there. Alternatively the pastas can be bought on-line. The on-line Italian deli Nife is Life stock both the mafalde and fregola and the pastas can be found on various other websites.

Pappardelle or tagliatelle could be used as an alternative for mafalde. The large Israeli or giant cous cous could be used as an alternative to fregola (not the regular, fine cous cous that just needs soaking in boiling water) and this is available in many supermarkets, or you could use a short stubby pasta shape, such as ditalini, as an alternative in Nigella's recipe.

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