Known as fregula in Sardinia, this pastina (pasta for soups) is medium in size. The name comes from the Latin fricare because it is made by "rubbing" the flour in a similar manner to making couscous. Water is sprinkled over flour and with rotary motions of the hand, crumbled into little balls of different sizes, then toasted in a wood-burning oven. A small amount of saffron is used in the water to give the pasta its wonderful color.
Traditionally served in fish soups and mutton stews in Sardinia, today fregola sarda is also served in cold salads with shellfish or diced vegetables.