Fregola risotto with porcini and soft-cooked eggs

Vegetarian, Soy Free

2 Servings, 650 Calories/Serving

30 - 40 Minutes

In Italy, pasta cooked risotto-style (gently simmered in a little liquid instead of a big pot of boiling water), is called pasta risottata—and it’s delicious, more buttery and tender than the ordinary kind. Along with dried porcini, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes, Chef Justine finishes the dish with a light sprinkling of Celtic sea salt mixed with fresh thyme, for extra woodsy flavor and crunch.


  • ¼ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 pasture-raised organic eggs
  • ½ pound zucchini
  • 1 to 2 shallots
  • Peeled fresh garlic
  • 1 cup fregola
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ½ pound cherry tomatoes
  • Fresh basil
  • ½ teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 2 ounces grated Pecorino Romano



Soak the porcini; cook the eggs

In a bowl, cover the porcini with ¼ cup hot tap water. Let soak until ready to use.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water. Carefully lower the eggs into the boiling water; cook over high heat for 5 minutes for soft-boiled, 8 minutes for hard-boiled. Transfer the eggs to the ice water to cool. Carefully peel. While the eggs cook, start the zucchini.


Prep and cook the zucchini

  • Trim the ends from the zucchini; cut the zucchini into ¼-inch-thick half-moons.
  • Peel and finely chop the shallot.
  • Finely chop enough garlic to measure 1½ teaspoons.
In a pan, warm 1 to 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini and cook, turning once, until lightly browned and just tender, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; don’t clean the pan.


Cook the fregola

In the same pan, add 1 more tablespoon oil, if needed, and warm over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the fregola and stir to coat with the oil. Add the porcini and the mushroom soaking liquid, leaving behind any grit. Add 2 cups water, season with salt, and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the fregola is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes. While the fregola cooks, prepare the remaining ingredients.


Finish the risotto

  • Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.
  • Strip the leaves from the basil stems; coarsely chop the leaves.
  • Pick the leaves from the thyme stems.
In a small bowl, combine the thyme leaves and Celtic sea salt and stir to blend.
When the fregola is tender, remove the pan from the heat. Add the zucchini, cherry tomatoes, basil, and Pecorino Romano. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.



Transfer the fregola risotto to individual plates. Cut the eggs in half and arrange them on top. Sprinkle with as much of the Celtic salt-thyme mixture as you like and serve.

Nutrition per serving: Calories: 650, Protein: 27 g, Total Fat: 27 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12.5 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.5 g, Saturated Fat: 9 g, Cholesterol: 245 mg, Carbohydrates: 74 g, Fiber: 6 g, Added Sugar: 0 g, Sodium: 1040 mg

Contains: eggs, milk, wheat

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