Bottarga Pasta is one of my favorite meals. This classic Sicilian dish is pure umami in every bite (umami is a Japanese word that describes a savoriness to food – this one word merits its own post and worth reading further if you are not familiar with it). Bottarga, sometimes called Mediterranean caviar, is the roe (fish eggs) of tuna or grey mullet that has been salt cured and dried. It imparts a salty, briny flavor to a dish without being too fishy.
About Bottarga Pasta
Bottarga is usually sold in blocks covered in wax. It is also sold pre-grated in smaller quantities. It is worth seeking out, it will be the best thing you can do to a $3 box of pasta- both for the flavor it imparts and its nutrition. Fish eggs are abundant sources of vitamins A and D and zinc. Fish roe has been prized as sacred foods in cultures like the Eskimos in Alaska and the Indians of the Andes Mountains where it was part of the diet of those of childbearing age to ensure healthy babies.
Bottarga Pasta Recipe
A classic Sicilian dish. Bottarga is salt cured fish roe. If you are using rice pasta make sure to rinse the cooked pasta very well before combining it with the remaining ingredients.
- 1 pound spaghetti pasta
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove thinly sliced
- 5 ounces grated bottarga
- 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
2. Heat the olive oil and garlic for a few minutes in a medium skillet over a very low flame.
3. Add the grated bottarga to the skillet and mix it into the olive oil (add more olive oil if it seems to dry).
4. Add the pasta, parsley, and lemon zest to the skillet and toss.
This article is a great way to get started with bottarga. After reading this, you will know how easy it can be!
Jen Lin-Liu is the founder of Black Sesame Kitchen. A Chinese-American writer and a nationally certified Chinese chef in Beijing. Jen is the author of two memoirs, Serve the People: A Stir-Fried Journey Through China and On the Noodle Road: From Beijing to Rome with Love and Pasta.