Spaghetti with Bottarga
Bottarga adds the taste of the sea to a simple pasta
- Servings: 4.
This simple pasta features bottarga, the salty pressed fish roe from Sardinia, with a boost from red pepper flakes and good canned tomatoes. Don't over-do the red pepper flakes (you can always add more later if you want more heat) so to keep the bottarga flavor as the dominant taste.
If you like this recipe and want to try a different version of it, I've added below a link to another bottarga pasta recipe, this with tomato sauce and bread crumbs.
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (adjust this to your liking but remember how much punch is in each flake and you can always add more later)
- 2 large or 3 small cloves garlic, sliced very thin
- 1 14-oz. can Italian peeled San Marzano tomatoes (only the tomatoes; none of the liquid) cut into large (1") dice. Or, 1 14-oz. can good quality cherry tomatoes, again drained of the liquid, with each little tomato cut in half (La Valle is an excellent brand that can be found in many grocers)
- 1 pound spaghetti or spaghettini (use dried pasta for this, not fresh)
- 1/4 cup rough chopped flat leaf parsley
- 2 oz. piece of tuna or mullet bottarga (a single piece that you will grate, not the pre-grated powder)
- Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot or your pasta pot. Add 2 tablespoons of salt (heavily salted pasta water helps to add flavor without making the dish salty).
- In a large sauté or fry pan, combine the olive oil, red pepper flakes and garlic. Heat over low heat until the garlic is fragrant but not brown.
- Add the tomatoes and continue cooking over a low heat for about 3 minutes so to take away any raw flavor from the tomatoes but not so long that they begin to break apart.
- Remove from the heat.
- Cook the spaghetti or spaghettini until it is just al dente. Save about 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
- Drain the pasta well and immediately add it to the oil/garlic/red pepper/tomato mixture. Add the parsley. Toss to coat the strands of spaghetti.
- If strands are sticking together and you need to loosen or help the ingredients combine together, do not add more oil. Instead add some of the reserved pasta water.
- Transfer the spaghetti to a warmed serving bowl.
- Use a microplane rasper or fine cheese grater to grate the bottarga over the pasta. Toss to combine.
- Serve immediately.
Add no salt or pepper due to the saltiness of the bottarga and the heat from the red pepper flakes.