Spaghetti with Dried Mullet Roe

Directly from 11 July 2012!

Good morning everyone!!

While in Italy the heat wave is the king of last days, I am pretty lucky that here in Sardinia a gentle breeze is keeping us alive despite the extreme temperatures (we are talking about 44° in some towns!). It is the perfect weather for days spent on the seaside, walking in the nature and enjoying the earth itself. In this Sardinia is absolutely unique: wild, tough and sincere!

If you get the chance to visit my beloved island take the chance to visit its little towns in the middle of the island: real pearls that you can see once in a lifetime!

Today I want to take the occasion to present one of the sardinian specialties that makes us proud in the world: dried mullet roe!

It is a tough taste but unmistakibly Sardinian!

Most of you may know the tuna roe, which is based on the same principle: the bag of the fish with the eggs is dried and the result can be tasted in a wide range of unique recipes. But why am I so fond of our Bottarga? I should clarify that there is no food that is better than the others since every person taste is so different; in Sardinia thou, there is such a wild environment that every food that you may taste here has a special and intense flavour that it is lost in most of the world. The grass, the sea and the fruit, have such a taste that meat and fish taste differently than anywhere in the world. If you try out our lobsters, for example, you will see they are on a different league than the others that you can taste anywhere else.

Sardinian cousine follows those rules and, in a certain sense, it is an extremization of italian cousine: the base ingredient has so much importance that we dare not to modify it too much during its preparation. In our beliefs there is the saying that if we want to eat fish, fish you gotta cook, not side dishes, sauces and so on. Our tastes therefore grew tough, wild and somehow “countrysidish”. Just like us, our food does not like compromises and their tastes hit like a tidal wave!

The Bottarga has its main manifacture place in a town called Cabras, where the mullets are bred in an incredibly natural environment: you will not find proper constructed pools, but natural reeds tied together that limit the wide pond in which they grow. If you get in there you cannot miss to eat in the Ittiotourism called Mare Pontis where you may taste from the sea to the table some of our tradition!

So let’s get together with the recipe that represents my early days!

Ingredients for 2 people:

  • 160 gr spaghetti n° 5 – € 0.16
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (do not forget: the better oil the better taste!)
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • parsley
  • dried mullet roe – € 0.50 roughly (we grate a small part of the block which is quite costly but it lasts long sa well)

This pasta is one of the numerous recipe we can use to taste our delicacy and I hope I may be able to present even more next months! Just as usual we start from the pasta! Every 100 gr of pasta we put to boil 1 lt of water with 10 gr of salt. When the water boils we add the spaghetti and let them cook the time indicated in their box.

While the water warms up we start preparing the grated bottarga: it is always better treat it gently, so it is better to grate it in scales ot julienne. The taste is also much better. We also take advantage of our time to chop finely some parsley which will come handy to give a hint of freshness to our recipe.

We take a large pan with high sides and, when the pasta is cooked, we drain it directly in the pan. We add one or two tablespoons of the water used to cook the pasta (the starch in it will help creating the sauce) and we add 2/3rd of the roe we grated, the parsley and the black pepper. We panfry it only for the time needed to be a little denser. Remember that the roe MUST NOT be cooked! The panfrying has to be very quick!

We serve on the plates our spaghetti seasoning them on the top with the leftover bottarga!

The flavour is intense and mouthful. The bottarga is the queen of the dish but its taste is from time to time delicate or strong! It will amaze you!

Are you still here? Go get some and try that out!

HOW MUCH IS IT? Today cost per portion it is low despite the costly bottarga. I also would like to remind that, in order to save some money, I often but special offers! Today cost per person is € 0.41!


3 thoughts on “Spaghetti with Dried Mullet Roe

  1. Pingback: Spaghetti alla Bottarga « Marito alla Parmigiana


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