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.
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. (Linda Forristal – The Roe to Health).
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. In a medium skillet over a very low flame, heat the olive oil and garlic for a few minutes.
3. Add the grated bottarga to the skillet and mix 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.
Art Culinaire – Umami: the fifth element
fishcooking.about.com – How to Make Bottarga, or Salt Cured Fish Roe
All Things Sicilian – Pasta Con Bottarga
Martha Stewart – Bottarga Pasta
Mario Batali Spaghetti with Bottarga
WrightFood – Bottarga