Spaghetti con la Bottarga
Bottarga is an acquired taste. This Sardinian specialty of pressed fish eggs dried in the sun was an exciting discovery for me, even if a bit of a shock to my senses when I first tried it. The first time I had it seemed a little too fishy for me, my husband (boyfriend at the time) made a simple spaghetti with bottarga and breadcrumbs, good, but it lacked balance.
It can be very expensive, though we tend to buy the stuff that is already grated, not as prized, but good nonetheless and considering our limited means when we were first dating and married, it was all we could afford. The good stuff is still in the roe sack, you can either thinly slice it or grate it, the flavors are a bit more subtle than the bottarga that you find in little jars.
Spaghetti con Bottarga
from Ricette di Osterie d’Italia: il pesce. 600 piatti di mare di lago e di fiume Slow Food Editore
- 400 grams of spaghetti
- 100 grams of bottarga
- 1 onion
- 50 grams of carrot
- 40 grams grated zucchini zkins
- 50 grams green apple, cut into thin strips
- a handful of breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- black pepper
Fill a large pot with water for the pasta. Bring to a boil over high heat.
Chop the onion and the carrot into fine pieces. Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high, add onion, sauté until it is translucent. Add the carrots and the grated zucchini and after a few minutes the bottarga.
Once the water starts to boil for the pasta add a small handful of salt to the water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente.
When the spaghetti are perfectly al dente, reserve a cup of the pasta water in case they dry out when tossing. Without shaking all of the water out of the colander pour the spaghetti into the pan with the apple strips and breadcrumbs, toss them over the flame for about 30 seconds. This allows for the pasta to cook a little longer in the sauce and to absorb the flavor. Serve immediately with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a twist of fresh black pepper.