When I think of Sardinian cuisine the first two things that come to mind are fregola and bottarga. They’re such unique ingredients which also happen to be two of my favourites.
- 80 g fregola
- 3 cobs of corn, husks and silks removed and reserved
- 2 tsp dashi powder
- 100 ml white soy sauce
- 50 ml mirin
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 100 g butter
- 100 g bottarga, finely grated
- 2 bunches chives, thinly sliced
- murray river pink salt
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- Cook the fregola according to manufacturer’s instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the corn cobs and blanch for about 1 minute. Drop into a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking. Drain the corn, then slice the kernels off the cob and reserve both.
- Place the corn husks on a baking tray and roast for 5-10 minutes or until starting to colour, a little charring is okay. Place the roasted husks and cobs into a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain, reserving the liquid. Season the stock with the dashi powder, white soy sauce and mirin.
- Place the oil and garlic into a heavy-based frying pan over high heat. Cook until the garlic is fragrant and turning golden. Add a couple of ladles of stock to the pan, then add the cooked fregola, followed by the corn kernels. Cook until tender, then stir in the butter and most of the bottarga. Cook until the butter, stock and starch from the fregola emulsify and form a risotto-like consistency.
- Stir in the chives and season with salt. Serve immediately, sprinkled with the remaining bottarga.
Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.
Photography by Danielle Abou Karam.