Minced beef (for Aletéia) with fregola sarda and soft egg

Translated by Celia Kuwagima

It was Téia, my cousin, who asked me for a recipe of minced beef, therefore this recipe goes for her as a gift because she will celebrate her birthday! :)

She said that she tried a few times without success and asked me an easy recipe that she could run. Until here is simple….minced beef is easy to do, but I wanted to serve anything else other than serve with rice. Then I remembered the Astor’s version which I love! They serve with spaghetti and soft egg on top.


I was just thinking about this minced beef when Iris invited me to an Italian wine tasting at Rua do Alecrim1, where I found this fregola sarda, which I already saw in NY but never tried before. I brought it home and tried to used it with minced beef and it was perfect!

Bottom line: not only people come at the right time where they are expected…ingredients also!

Delicacy that you check now!


Ingredients – 2 portions

When they are cooked, those little balls of pasta get a texture similar to tapioca, a delight that won’t be missing in my pantry anymore. Combined with minced beef cooked in with wine and a soft yolk that has spread it all beautifully, joining all the elements, this dish was finger lickin’ good ….it was so good that I repeated on a chilly weekend in our beachy little corner.


  • 300g of sirloin chopped into very small cubes (keep the fat)
  • 4 tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon of brunoise onion (very little cubes)
  • 1 tablespoon of parsley stem
  • 1 tablespoon of peperoncino pepper finely chopped
  • parsley to sprinkle
  • 1 peeled and seedless tomato chopped into very little cubes
  • ½ glass of dry red wine
  • 2 cups of fregola sarda
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste


Minced beef – Melt half of the butter and brown the meat with a pinch of salt. Remove the meat from the pan.

Add onion and parsley stem and let them sweat. Add tomato and let them to change color.

Put the meat back into the pan, mixture well to the sautéed onion with tomato.

The pan will have a crust from the meat and the sautéed. Add wine and incorporate the crust. Let them boiled to evaporate the alcohol.

Add ½ cup of water and let them cook and reduce until you have a thick sauce.

Sprinkle with pepper and parsley


Fregola – Cook the fregola sarda in plenty of water, seasoned with salt (like other pastas) for about 15 minutes.

Eggs – Fry the eggs in the remaining unsalted butter.


Serve in soup plates with fregola underneath, a generous portion of minced beef and, on top of it, the egg with soft yolk. Sprinkled with black pepper and freshly grated parmesan to wrap up!


Bon appetite! Yummy!!!!!

Pairing up

to drink

marcelo pedro

To drink by Marcelo Pedro

Today we are gonna follow the saying that we should drink the same wine we used for cooking a dish. Of course, as everything in life, it should not be taken to fire and sword. If you are gonna drink an ultra special and expensive wine, you will not want to “waste” it by cooking it.

In fact, a super wine sometimes deserves to be savored on its own, especially with a tasty bread, after all it should be the star shining. But for those who want to drink wine everyday, a very healthy habit indeed, the idea is that the cooking wine cannot be the cheapest, generic or whatever they call cooking wine at supermarkets! The daily good wine should be the same that you will use in the recipe, ok! Well, I already know Léti’s minced beef and I’m a fan of it as well as the Astor’s one, with soft egg on top. The novelty is the pasta, which I have never eaten before, the fregola sarda. As I said, the wine you will use for cooking minced beef should be the wine that will best pair up with the dish. It can be Chilean or Argentinian varietal, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, carmenére. A wine line that I particularly think is good cost/benefit is the Carmen Classic line, from the Chilean Vinã Carmen.

I have already tasted cabernet sauvignon and carmenére and they are very good, ready to be drunk without the need of aging with a cost of nearly R$30,00. In other words, they are great everyday wines and do not look bad even if it is for lunch or for a more sophisticated dinner. Another option could be a less rustic Portuguese wine, without much tannin, as a good and traditional Dão. Then you will need the assistance of a good seller, as there are pretty bad and soulless wines with this denomination and others which are exceptional, perhaps too much for a daily tasting.

Ah, and you ask me why not a Sardinian wine, since today’s pasta is sarda? Because I need to research and taste Sardinian wines before, but I will push myself on this holidays!

to listen

marina novaes

To listen by Marina Novaes

From the coolest things in life, serendipity is in my preferred list. I love to imagine that there are things that happen as if they where magic! My brother told me that it is a way of trying to deceive myself. I do not totally disagree with him, because I have that kind of esoteric (“if I am something incomprehensible, my God is more”) and to see meaning over things, but I don’t care.

All this talk is to say that the song which pair up with minced beef with fregola sarda and soft egg is “Uma Vida”(A Life), from Dom Salvador & Abolição.

Dom Salvador is one of those guys who rocks outside the boundaries and is hardly visible here in Brazil, despite having planted a seed of Black Rio, a movement during the dictatorship, which brought a groove to Carioca black youth who expressed themselves through art in the midst of so much repression, in an harmonious and pacific way. Abolição is a super band in which he participated in the 70’s.

Uma Vida”(A Life) is a very good vibe song. Elis Regina made an amazing version, after all serendipity must have worked for her to record this song because it is so much of her! I used to listen to this song every day on my maternity leave, celebrating life and love and everything that comes at the right time where they are expected!

1Rua do Alecrim is a gourmet emporium at Rua França Pinto, 246, casa 5 – Vila Mariana, São Paulo, SP