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Slow-Cooked Broad Bean Fregola

by Sophie Gordon from The Whole Vegetable

Fregola is a delicious Sardinian pasta with a delightfully chewy texture. Enjoy it in this vegan-friendly springtime recipe with seasonal broad beans and plenty of lemon zest.

From the book

Sophie Gordon


One of my favourite pastas, fregola feels a lot more like a grain, similar to giant couscous – the main difference being their country of origin. A Sardinian pasta made from wheat flour, rolled and sun-dried, fregola is perfectly chewy and acts as a great base to many dishes. This recipe is ideal as a hearty brunch, a rustic lunch or a warming dinner. The pop of colour from the broad beans and lemon zest really makes it feel like spring has sprung.

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200g fregola
1 large onion, white or brown, finely chopped
salt and pepper
4 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
450g broad beans, podded and skinned
2 tbsp olive oil
500ml stock
2 lemons, both juiced, 1 zested
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp tahini
A handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped (2 heaped tsp if dried)
A handful of fresh mint, finely chopped (2 heaped tsp if dried)
2 tsp dried oregano
A pinch of chilli flakes or cayenne pepper
For the nut Parmesan:
70g raw cashews
45g raw sunflower seeds
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp ground turmeric

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First cook your fregola. Simmer it in lightly salted water for around 10–12 minutes, stirring occasionally. The fregola once cooked will be softer on the outside but will still hold some texture when bitten – similar to giant couscous. Once cooked, drain and put back into the pot with a dash of olive oil to prevent it from sticking. Put to one side.

In a separate pan, begin to cook your onion in some water until soft and fragrant, then add a pinch of salt followed by the garlic, and continue to cook for another minute or so. Add the broad beans and lightly fry, then add the olive oil. Slowly pour in the stock until the beans are covered. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. You may not use all of your stock initially, so just place the rest to one side.

Add the lemon juice and zest, nutritional yeast, tahini, parsley, mint and oregano. Season with a good amount of salt and pepper and mix well. Cover and continue to simmer until the liquid starts to thicken, usually around 15 minutes or so. If it dries up a little too much, you can add a dash more stock or water.

While your broad beans are simmering, make your nut Parmesan. Place the cashews in a blender and blitz until they break up slightly. Add the sunflower seeds, salt, nutritional yeast, garlic powder and turmeric. Blitz again until a nice crumb-like texture forms. Be careful not to over-blend, as you don’t want to make a paste. Transfer to a jar and place in the fridge.

Add the chilli to the broad beans and stir, seasoning if necessary. The beans by this point should be very soft, and may start to break down slightly. Add the fregola to the pot and stir well to combine. Again, season if necessary. You want the mixture to be like a stew – there will be some liquid, but not a whole load.

To serve, transfer to bowls, topping with a good sprinkle of your nut Parmesan and any additional herbs of choice.

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From the book: The Whole Vegetable

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