Fregola is such a wonderful little pasta shape, and I really feel like it's underrated in the United States. Visually similar to pearl couscous, it's a very small pasta shape from Sardinia, Italy. What makes it extra special is that fregola is toasted, which gives it a great depth of flavor other pasta doesn't have.
Technique tip: It gets tastier after the flavors marry together in the fridge for a few hours, and even up to overnight. If serving it the next day, give it a drizzle of olive oil to refresh it before serving.
Swap option: Fregola is perfect for this pasta salad, but you can also substitute it out with orzo if fregola is difficult to get your hands on.
For the orange oil:
Combine the olive oil and the orange zest in a small bowl and set aside.
For the salad:1.
Bring the large saucepan of chicken broth to a boil over high heat. Add the fregola pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain pasta onto a large baking sheet. Spread to a single layer and let cool for 10 minutes.2.
Meanwhile, using a small knife, cut the skin off the orange and grapefruit. Over a large bowl, cut out the segments of the citrus flesh and catch the juices.3.
Add the onion, mint, basil, fennel seeds, salt, pepper and cooled fregola pasta to the bowl of citrus segments. Add the reserved orange oil to the pasta. Toss all the ingredients together and serve.