Simple Suppers: Sardinian Style Fish Soup with Fregola

by Thyme Recipes 3 Aug 17

A little more effort, but well worth it! Fregola is a type of pasta from Sardinia, made with a semolina dough that has been rolled into little balls of 2-3mm. As an alternative, orzo is a very similar small pasta, looking more like grains of rice; or giant couscous, small balls of crushed wheat, both are widely available.We have used red mullet as this gives an unmistakable Mediterranean flavour, you could use sea bass, bream or indeed any white fish instead - trust what is fresh and recommended by your fishmonger.

Serves 4

  • 75gms Fregola
  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 small fennel bulb, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1tsp fennel seeds
  • Pinch dried chilli flakes
  • 125mls white wine
  • 250gms ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 4 red mullet fillets, halved
  • 12 tiger prawns, de-veined and part-shelled
  • 4 handfulls clams or mussels, cleaned
  • 200mls fish stock* 


  1. Boil the fregola in plenty of salted water for 6 mins, then drain and toss with a little oil.
  2. Into a large lidded pan, add 4tbsp olive oil and sweat the onion and fennel with a good pinch of salt until soft and translucent.
  3. Add the garlic, fennel seeds and chilli to the pan and cook for a further minute.
  4. Add the wine and tomatoes, cook over a high heat for 5 mins to soften the tomatoes. Season well.
  5. Add the fish, shellfish, fregola and stock to the pan.
  6. Cover with the lid, bring to the boil and cook for 5 mins until the clams/mussels open and the fish is cooked. Check seasoning and serve.

*If you want to make a quick fish stock – soften a small onion, a little fennel or celery with fennel seeds in olive oil. Add 1kg washed white fish bones and cook for a minute or two. Add parsley stalks, cover with water and simmer for 20-30mins. Strain and discard solids.


Enjoy further supper dishes below: