Italian Regional Recipes Primi Piatti: Pasta, Rice, Soups

Spaghetti with Sardinian Bottarga

In Italy, Bottarga di Muggine – salted mullet roe – is produced and consumed mainly in Sardinia, where is served freshly grated mainly as a pasta seasoning.

Bottarga it is obtained by salting and drying mullet roe and tuna and is often referred to as the “poor man’s caviar or as the gold of the sea“.
Its flavour is similar to dried anchovies due to its notably saltiness, but it also features a surprisingly smooth and silky texture. In Sicily they use the bluefin tuna (Bottarga di Tonno).


Serves: 2 | Preparation time: 5 mins | Cooking time: 10-12 mins

  • Spaghetti: 180 g
  • Garlic: 2 cloves
  • Bottarga (salted mullet roe): 3 tsp
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO): 3 tablespoon
  • Salt: to taste

Method

Peel garlic cloves.

Brown them in a non-stick frying pan with 3 tbsp of Evoo 2 or 3 mins or until well gilded. Add a pinch of grated Bottarga in the hot oil just to flavour it. Do not overdo or the oil will become bitter. A pinch will be enough.

Boil spaghetti in plenty of salted water, then drain them when they’re still al dente, i.e. a couple of mins before the standard cooking. Keep aside about a glass of hot cooking water.
Add spaghetti to the pan and sautéeing everything for a couple of minutes, add cooking water if needed and stirring thoroughly.

Serve warm, topped by some more freshly grated Bottarga.

Tip: we know it might be quite difficult to find fresh Bottarga for those who live outside in Italy and mostly not in Sardinia, however you can find it on line and there is also the ready grated bottarga version sold in glass jar that you can find on line

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