Bottarga is a unique food that is found in the Mediterranean and most often associated with Sardinian cuisine. I became a fan on the several trips to Sardinia I’ve taken with the Italian, where Spaghetti with Bottarga is a staple in his family’s summer home.
Bottarga is a salted and dried roe of either tuna or grey mullet. It is often used as a condiment and can be sprinkled on a variety of dishes besides pasta for a bit of extra flavor, including scrambled eggs, risotto or even salads. It can either be sold in a block or else already grated or sliced, and it has a deeply bright orangish-red colour and an intense, savoury flavour.
Spaghetti con Bottarga e Pomodorini (Spaghetti with Bottarga and Tomatoes)
Spaghetti (400 grams)
Cherry Tomatoes, chopped (1.5 cups)
Basil (12 leaves)
Pepper (to taste)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (4 T)
Bottarga, grated (2-3 T per person)
Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Chop garlic finely. Chop onion (slices or chunks, depending on preference.)
Heat a pan on medium and add oil. Add garlic and onions until onions turn translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes until they are soft. Add pinch of salt and lower the flame.
Cook the spaghetti in salted water until al dente. Add the spaghetti to the pan with the tomatoes along with pepper to taste and the basil leaves. Cook another minute or two.
Serve on plates. Each person can individually add their desired amount of grated bottarga (usually around 2-3 T) to their plate. Mix the bottarga into the spaghetti.