Spaghetti with Bottarga
Spaghetti with Bottarga, a quick and tasty dish for any time of the year and especially during Lent.
Bottarga is often called the poor man's caviar, bottarga is the Italian word for a dense cured fish roe made from tuna, gray mullet or swordfish.
- Drop the spaghetti in a pot of salted boiling water.
- At the same time, in a large saute pan, add the EV olive oil, the garlic and the peperoncino.
- Let the garlic turn blonde and add a cup of pasta water.
- Only cook the spaghetti in the water for about 5 mins. then transfer them to the saute pan and add a little more pasta water and the Bottarga. Leave only a little Bottarga for garnishing each plate.
- Toss the pasta in the saute pan with the Bottarga. If you see that the pasta is getting dry, add more pasta water.
- Continue tossing until the spaghetti are al dente.
- Shut the flame and add the parsley. Toss for 10 seconds and serve.
- Garnish each plate with a little Bottarga.
More about Bottarga:
To make bottarga, the roe pouch of the fish is massaged until its air pockets disappear. It is then dried and cured in sea salt, hardening into a dense tablet after a few weeks. The bottarga is then cut into logs and coated in beeswax, resembling a petrified sausage, a technique which has been traced back to the Phoenicians.
Bottarga has a highly salty taste that can be compared to dried anchovies, but with a silkier texture. It keeps well stored in the refrigerator and a little goes a long way. Often grated sparingly in the manner of truffles over an omelette or pasta, bottarga can also be cut into very small wedges, sprinkled with lemon juice and served as an appetizer.
Popular in Sicily and Sardinia, bottarga can be found throughout the Mediterranean, under the name of poutargue or boutargue in France or botarga in Spain. In Greece, avgotaraho is slightly smoked and made in summer to be preserved for Lent.