"I'm Sardinian and I always like to reflect my heritage in my cooking. Even though Sardinia is an island, our diet consists of a lot of meat, mostly sheep and lamb. Fregola is really versatile and I love using it with fish or meat or on its own in a salad." Giovanni Pilu, Pilu at Freshwater, Freshwater, NSW
- 1½ tbsp olive oil
- 4 lamb rumps (about 250gm each), at room temperature
- 1 rosemary sprig
- 225 gm fregola (see note)
- 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 35 small black olives such as Bosane, finely chopped (see note)
- ¼ cup aged red wine vinegar (60ml)
- ¼ cup mint, finely chopped (firmly packed)
- 1½ garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1½ tsp finely chopped rosemary
- 1 tsp finely chopped marjoram
- 1For fregola and olive salad, cook fregola in boiling salted water until tender (4-6 minutes), drain well, drizzle with olive oil and spread on an oven tray to cool to room temperature. Whisk remaining ingredients in a bowl and
set aside. Just before serving, toss through fregola.
- 2Preheat oven to 200C. Heat oil in an ovenproof frying pan over high heat, season lamb to taste, cook until golden, turning once (1-2 minutes each side), then transfer pan to oven and roast until medium-rare (7-10 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 54C). Cover loosely with foil and set aside to rest (5-10 minutes).
- 3Remove lamb from pan and set aside in a warm place. Add rosemary to pan, reduce pan juices over high heat to sauce consistency (1-2 minutes), then discard rosemary. Slice each lamb rump into four pieces and serve with fregola salad and pan juices.
Note Fregola, a grain-shaped pasta, is available from select delicatessens. Bosane (or Bosana) olives are black olives native to Sardinia. If unavailable, substitute small Ligurian olives. This recipe is from the May 2011 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.