Pasta con la Bottarga e Wasabi

Pasta con la Bottarga

Pasta con la Bottarga is about as simple as pastas get, consisting of pasta (usually spaghetti), grated bottarga and olive oil. Yet for such a meager amount of effort, you’ll be treated to a decadent pasta roaring with umami and flavours of the sea. In this version, I’ve added some freshly grated wasabi to balance out the richness and give it a slight kick at the end.

Once called, the poor man’s caviar, bottarga carries a US price tag of about $90 a pound, clearly indicating that times have changed. Bottarga is the roe sac of mullet or tuna, that’s been dried and cured in sea salt. While it’s a specialty of the Sardinia region of Italy, it goes by many names in countries all along the Mediterranean. Mine came from a Spanish grocer in Manhattan and was labeled huevos de mújol or “mullet eggs”.

Due to the low water content and high fat content, it has a slightly waxy texture and a very rich taste filled with flavour enhancing umami. It’s not exactly fishy, but it does taste strongly of the sea. If you’re wondering why there are clumps of bottarga in the photo, it’s because I made the mistake of mixing the olive oil and bottarga together before adding the pasta. Sprinkling it in should avoid this problem.

Pasta con la Bottarga e Wasabi

8 oz of your favourite pasta
1/2 C cherry tomatoes
2 oz bottarga
1 Tbs fresh wasabi grated
3 Tbs olive oil
pepper
1 Tbs minced parsley

Boil the pasta according to the package directions in well salted water.

Put the cherry tomatoes onto a piece of foil, poking each tomato with a toothpick to prevent them from exploding. Put the tomatoes and foil on the upper oven rack and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until the tomatoes have wrinkled up and the tops are lightly browned.

Slice a few thin slices off the bottarga and grate the rest into a small container. Grate the wasabi into a separate large bowl. Add 3 Tbs of olive oil to the wasabi along with the minced parsley and roasted tomatoes.

When the pasta is done, drain and toss with the olive oil mixture to coat. Sprinkle in the grated bottarga and toss to coat evenly. Salt and pepper to taste and serve with a few slices of bottarga on top.

  • http://www.figandcherry.com/ Christie @ Fig & Cherry

    Gorgeous! Simplicity is often perfection.

  • http://www.figandcherry.com Christie @ Fig & Cherry

    Gorgeous! Simplicity is often perfection.

  • http://cheffresco.com/ Cheffresco

    I’ve never heard of bottarga – creative recipe! Great idea to add the grated wasabi, looks delicious!

  • http://cheffresco.com Cheffresco

    I’ve never heard of bottarga – creative recipe! Great idea to add the grated wasabi, looks delicious!

  • http://www.everydaycookin.com/ Darius T. Williams

    I say good mistake – because I like the clumpy look. I too have never heard of bottarga – but now I have!

  • http://www.everydaycookin.com Darius T. Williams

    I say good mistake – because I like the clumpy look. I too have never heard of bottarga – but now I have!

  • http://citrusandcandy.com/ Karen

    Wow, wasabi in pasta? I’m intrigued! Beautiful photos!

  • http://citrusandcandy.com Karen

    Wow, wasabi in pasta? I’m intrigued! Beautiful photos!

  • http://ravenouscouple.blogspot.com/ Ravenouscouple

    what a great idea to use grated wasabi!

  • http://ravenouscouple.blogspot.com Ravenouscouple

    what a great idea to use grated wasabi!

  • http://www.slim-shoppin.com/ Jenn@slim-shoppin

    That does sound delicious!!

    I’ve never heard of Bottarga before! Your dish looks amazing Marc!

  • http://www.slim-shoppin.com Jenn@slim-shoppin

    That does sound delicious!!

    I’ve never heard of Bottarga before! Your dish looks amazing Marc!

  • http://kitchensidecar.blogspot.com/ katiek @kitchensidecar

    these are treasures of ingredients. I love the idea of stowing these prized ingredients in my pocket, like amulets. Others to add to the list?

  • http://kitchensidecar.blogspot.com katiek @kitchensidecar

    these are treasures of ingredients. I love the idea of stowing these prized ingredients in my pocket, like amulets. Others to add to the list?

  • http://colloquialcookin.canalblog.com/ Colloquial Cook

    Yey for linguine.

    (it’s a weak comment – I’m aware)

  • http://colloquialcookin.canalblog.com Colloquial Cook

    Yey for linguine.

    (it’s a weak comment – I’m aware)

  • http://cookappeal.blogspot.com/ Chef E

    I do like the simplicity of this dish…and like the roe addition!

  • http://cookappeal.blogspot.com/ Chef E

    I do like the simplicity of this dish…and like the roe addition!

  • http://allthingsnice.typepad.com/ Syrie

    I’d never heard of this before! I’m so curious to try it.

  • http://allthingsnice.typepad.com Syrie

    I’d never heard of this before! I’m so curious to try it.

  • http://allthingsnice.typepad.com/ Syrie

    I forgot to add my question — what could I substitute bottarga with?

  • http://allthingsnice.typepad.com Syrie

    I forgot to add my question — what could I substitute bottarga with?

  • http://www.minimalchronicles.blogspot.com/ chiara.u

    what a good idea grated wasabi on this pasta with bottarga! I love the strong taste of the bottarga (sometimes I use it on spaghetti with clams!) and the spicy freshness of wasabi could be well accorded with it! Maybe some fresh ginger??
    Bye :)

  • http://www.minimalchronicles.blogspot.com chiara.u

    what a good idea grated wasabi on this pasta with bottarga! I love the strong taste of the bottarga (sometimes I use it on spaghetti with clams!) and the spicy freshness of wasabi could be well accorded with it! Maybe some fresh ginger??
    Bye :)

  • http://www.weareneverfull.com/ we are never full

    ok, i just got sent some bottarga and have been trying to figure out a different way to prepare it besides the old pasta way (even though that’s one of the best and most traditional way to showcase it). but, see, this is why you’re good…love the addition of wasabi! i trust you that it doesn’t overpower the flavor of the bottarga.

  • http://www.weareneverfull.com we are never full

    ok, i just got sent some bottarga and have been trying to figure out a different way to prepare it besides the old pasta way (even though that’s one of the best and most traditional way to showcase it). but, see, this is why you’re good…love the addition of wasabi! i trust you that it doesn’t overpower the flavor of the bottarga.

  • http://www.pigpigscorner.com/ pigpigscorner

    Simple yet bursting with flavours! Gorgeous!

  • http://www.pigpigscorner.com pigpigscorner

    Simple yet bursting with flavours! Gorgeous!

  • http://www.whatdoiwant2cooktoday.blogspot.com/ Jan

    Looks really delish!

  • http://www.whatdoiwant2cooktoday.blogspot.com Jan

    Looks really delish!

  • http://www.bakingobsession.com/ Vera

    Simple food is always the best one! Delicious looking dish, Marc!

    Thank you very much for your kind comments you left on my blog! I appreciate it greatly!

  • http://www.bakingobsession.com Vera

    Simple food is always the best one! Delicious looking dish, Marc!

    Thank you very much for your kind comments you left on my blog! I appreciate it greatly!

  • http://www.bouchonfor2.com/ Mel

    Yum. Fresh wasabi = must. Nuff said.

  • http://www.bouchonfor2.com/ Mel

    Yum. Fresh wasabi = must. Nuff said.

  • http://www.foodgal.com/ Carolyn Jung

    I’ve had bottarga now and then at restaurants. No wonder I don’t see it on the menu often — what with the price of it. It’s always interesting how once lowly ingredients get elevated to luxury status over time, either because our tastes change or the product becomes more scarce.

  • http://www.foodgal.com Carolyn Jung

    I’ve had bottarga now and then at restaurants. No wonder I don’t see it on the menu often — what with the price of it. It’s always interesting how once lowly ingredients get elevated to luxury status over time, either because our tastes change or the product becomes more scarce.

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I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!

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