malloreddus with sheep’s milk ricotta and bottarga

January 17th, 2010 · 52 Comments


in my ongoing hunt for new ways to prepare bottarga, by far one of my most favorite things to eat, i googled ‘bottarga and cream’ wondering what i might find. after all, one eats good caviar with creme fraiche so i felt i might be on to something. and once again the interwebs provided me with what was just yesterday completely unknown, and now will never be forgotten. thank you al gore.

the martha. you come for the guests (she has the best) and you leave – well, often because of martha. case in point. enter eficio farris. a dallas based chef from sardinia and writer of ‘sweet myrtle and bitter honey – flavors of sardinia‘. i’d never heard of him and now he’s my latest italian chef crush. move over michael white (of alto, convivio and my new most favorite restaurant marea)… because i’ve got sardinia to explore and eficio is taking me there.

yes, i love bottarga. it’s rich and deep and sings of the ocean at its sexiest, you know, the one below the rocky cliffs of any given country on the mediterranean sea. or in this case just off the coast of tampa where my dear friend RK catches these mullet each autumn, carefully packs the roes in salt and lets the floridian sun do the rest. in another preparation, he also gently smokes the roes, rendering them ever so slightly crisp on the outside and soft and smoky beyond measure on the inside, but that’s for another time…

when i saw the dish being put together on this video, it reminded me of burrata and how the cream fortifies the fresh mozzarella transforming it into something other worldly. i knew that i wanted to use sheep’s milk ricotta – impossible to procure in nashville, so it was back to, once again flying in 3 lbs, which comes to them directly from italy. being a highly perishable product it becomes an exercise in timing and willingness to pay the price. dare i say it’s the most exercise i’ve had all year…

i did the sheep’s milk ricotta shuffle once before when i made the uovo raviolo’s, a specialty of the then san domenico’s chef odette fada. odette moved with the owners of san domenico’s to the new and wonderful restaurant SD26 off madison ave in nyc. when i was there a few months ago they brought me one of these raviolo’s, and really they’re a revelation…

this pasta is everything i love about italian cooking. it’s got but a few flawless ingredients.

so find them. and make this.

malloreddus with sheep’s milk ricotta and bottarga
adapted from eficio farris ‘sweet myrtle and bitter honey – flavors of sardinia’

chef farris uses dry bottarga in the video. i’m not nearly as much of a fan of that powdery substance. i think the fresh is a much better product and worked wonderfully in the dish.

1 pound short tubular pasta, such as malloreddus
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sheep’s milk ricotta cheese
about half a cup of grated bottarga – i used the fresh on the large side of a box grater
freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add pasta
meanwhile, heat heavy cream in a large saucepan over medium heat.
add ricotta and stir until well combined.
cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and well combined, about 5 minutes.
stir in about 2/3’s of the bottarga and season with freshly ground black pepper.
drain pasta and add to ricotta mixture.
add parsley and toss until well combined
stir in olive oil.
transfer pasta to a serving dish and sprinkle with the remaining bottarga.
serve immediately.


the sardinians say that malloreddus pasta is shaped like a tear but really that is nothing but delusional. they look very much like larvae. but regardless, they fill up beautifully with this creamy sauce which has been somehow infused with the ocean.

again, if you are willing to track down the ingredients, you’ll be thrilled and delighted.

Tags: pasta

52 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Stan // Jan 17, 2010 at 10:55 am

    I found via Ruhlman’s site. Great blog! What an incredible plate of pasta. I only had bottarga once and yes, it was in Italy many years ago now. I may need to track some down.

  • 2 Sarah in Franklin // Jan 17, 2010 at 11:04 am

    If it’s not at the supermarket i’m not so apt to make it but still, this looks SO GOOD!

    It’s restaurant food to me.

  • 3 CuriousEats -Lissa // Jan 17, 2010 at 11:13 am

    I’ve never had Bottarga but would love to try it! Besides your friend that makes it for you are you aware of a good online source?

  • 4 Chris Wage // Jan 17, 2010 at 11:14 am

    This looks great! Did you get the bottarga somewhere local or did you have it shipped?

  • 5 claudia // Jan 17, 2010 at 11:23 am

    about 2 years ago, i first ordered from market hall foods and got some beautiful bottarga. but it’s pricey.

    the chef i mentioned eficio faris has his own import site that sells bottarga and it is much more reasonable.

    check it out for sure. be sure to get the mullet and not the tuna. big diff.

  • 6 claudia // Jan 17, 2010 at 11:31 am

    this is the direct link:

    you can get the malloreddus pasta from there too

  • 7 maggie // Jan 17, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Mmmmm. Will definitely try this—I’ve seen bottarga at Chelsea market but I’ve never bought it…

  • 8 annie // Jan 17, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    It would be a lot of “exercise” for me to get these ingredients…although I do know someone who would probably give me more bottarga if I asked nicely. It looks like a more sophisticated…more Sardinian version of the cliche Alfredo, and I would love the creaminess to be flavored with sea and sheep’s milk instead of bland and heavy. Beautiful.

  • 9 Jennifer Hess // Jan 17, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Once again, you’ve wow-ed me, lady. This is gorgeous.

  • 10 nancy at goodfoodmatters // Jan 17, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Oh, my. I can always count on you for a dish that combines the exotic and the simple—looks divine.

  • 11 Lisa // Jan 17, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    All that tasty goodness in one bowl! A must try!

  • 12 Amy (Minimally Invasive) // Jan 17, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Oh, Claudia – my mouth is just watering. This looks like heaven.

  • 13 Schmevin Schmalters // Jan 17, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    “it’s rich and deep and sings of the ocean at its sexiest, you know …” Do I know?

    Yes. Yes, I do. Oh. How I know.

    Seriously, this food is amazing, you’re one of a kind and your blog is awesome.

  • 14 Kristie // Jan 17, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    I still think there’s something fishy about bottarga (ha!), but I know you’re as gay for it as I am for black truffles. As a result, I’m still curious about it. Looks gorgeous, as usual.

  • 15 Jim Voorhies // Jan 17, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    This looks amazing. I doubt you’ll ever put a recipe up here where I don’t learn something new. It’s like I can almost taste it.

  • 16 ponyboat // Jan 17, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    This dish looks like it works perfectly. A nice compact pasta, all rich and meaty with the ricotta finding its way inside. And the saltiness of the bottarga against the sweetness of the creamy sauce! Impressive as ever.

  • 17 Brad // Jan 17, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Malloreddus, thy tubular succulence beckons me! (p.s., thanks again, Claudia)

  • 18 Jack // Jan 17, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Sinful….. I would be afraid to eat that because I would crave, and it would never again be as good as the first time…… You never fail to find the best and thrive in it. thanks for sharing!

  • 19 Donald // Jan 17, 2010 at 8:33 pm




    I got nothing!

    Shit! This sounds good.

  • 20 John // Jan 17, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    I think it’s time that I propose again. This looks utterly deliciousio. I want it. Now. Can we arrange a deal? I can wash dishes like no other man.

  • 21 JT in the UK // Jan 17, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    looks like something I’d see st the river cafe here in London. well done.

  • 22 Kathy // Jan 18, 2010 at 7:20 am

    Lovin your pasta dishes as always. this one is well, different. But I need to try this bottarga of which you speak.

  • 23 lisaiscooking // Jan 18, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Thanks for reminding me that I need to get that book. And visit that restaurant and buy some bottarga. I think these things just became my new year’s resolutions.

  • 24 Anne Calyton // Jan 18, 2010 at 8:28 am

    looks divine! Filled with ingredients and flavors I have never tried but now need to! My mom was wild for shad roe…dad got it for her in the Spring time and cooked it up woth bacon for breakfast..never could do it my self but I do love caviar..maybe I will like Bottarga?

  • 25 Emily Walters // Jan 18, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Bottarga…. only Claudia could make something that smells so bad sound so good. This dish was amazing.

  • 26 Tommy Noodles // Jan 18, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Absolutely flawless. Nice work!

  • 27 Coley Coleman // Jan 18, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Looks fabulous. I’m on the hunt for the bottarga. Your clafoutis has become a family staple. Thanks

  • 28 Rosemarie // Jan 18, 2010 at 11:44 am

    I am so going to try this.

  • 29 rach // Jan 18, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Your timing is impeccable really, we are on a Ricotta Roll and I love bottarga nearly as much as you do (nearly). Looks simply delcious.

  • 30 Shari // Jan 18, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    “lets the floridian sun do the rest.” And before you got it…in the Floridian night….I slept with that roe (not in the Biblical sense!) for 4 nites in the tent and 3 nites in a motel room! Have you ever slept with fish roe? Trust was the ultimate sacrifice! ENJOY!

  • 31 Pam // Jan 19, 2010 at 12:33 am

    Looks delicious, gorgeous and totally indulgent. As always.

  • 32 Trent in Denver // Jan 19, 2010 at 7:14 am

    you make it look so easy. it can’t be that easy. ok. is it really that easy? Because it looks GREAT.

    ps you can cook for me anytime.

  • 33 jim voorhies // Jan 19, 2010 at 7:48 am

    I’ve seen something similar to what you mention in simple Afredo sauce. If you don’t at least use half and half and try to drop a few calories by going with milk instead, the cheese just doesn’t do as well. There’s something about the fat content than creates neither cream nor cheese, but something in between both.

  • 34 Rachel (S[d]OC) // Jan 19, 2010 at 8:37 am

    You have a way with ingredients! A stellar dish as always. Looks lick-the-screen good.

  • 35 Zia Elle // Jan 19, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Ricotta and bottarga, wow!!
    I love ricotta, I love bottarga but never I though to put them together, I will try!!

  • 36 Peter // Jan 19, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Still waiting on that bottarga…

  • 37 erik // Jan 19, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    I never tried sheep’s milk ever! They told me it was delicious. I hope I can find some in market today.

  • 38 Michael Cavinta // Jan 20, 2010 at 12:43 am

    This looks amazing! Thank you for sharing to us this really great recipe as my daughter loves pasta. My only problem with cooking pasta is I can’t really cook it to the exact al-dente stage, so sometimes my pasta gets overcooked. Anyway, this is a great recipe and I am excited to cooking this up.

  • 39 lo // Jan 20, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    You convince me to do the most inane things, Claudia. But, I love you for it.

    Bottarga is a thing of beauty (or so I hear). Probably one of those things I need to put on my “to try soon” list. Kinda like that Guanciale — which… blew me away.

  • 40 claudia // Jan 20, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    inane or do we mean… insane?
    i’m hoping it’s the latter

  • 41 lo // Jan 20, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Oh, dear Lord — insane, my dear. InSANE! :)
    Darned typos… gonna get me in trouble one of these days…

  • 42 Claudia from Honey from Rock // Jan 20, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    You say there’s a big diff from the tuna roe? My nephew occasionally fishes tuna and I was all set to try and make this myself. But……?

  • 43 ethel // Jan 21, 2010 at 10:08 am

    The closest thing to your Bottarga in my world is Bottega Veneta. Well— it’s Italian, isn’t it?
    Seriously I have never eaten Bottarga but it sure is something to try,,,, in a restaurant.
    Keep on cooking, I love reading your blog.
    Ever think of a cook book?

  • 44 Claudia from Honey from Rock // Jan 21, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    And, another thing, is there much taste difference between sheep’s milk ricotta and goat’s mik ricotta? I tried the sauce with feta and cream last night (no Bottarga yet unfortunately) and canned salmon, and we all thought it was excellent. So easy too.

  • 45 claudia // Jan 21, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    hey claudia! this name thing sure is visually confusing…

    goats milk ricotta is, well – goaty. which is not bad, it’s just different. cow’s milk is closer to sheep’s milk. i think anytime you add cream and cheese together no one is complaining. sounds like a good quick and easy dinner you’ve got yourself there with easier to gather ingredients!

    as for tuna bottarga – it’s a different thing and i don’t know a lot about it except i had it once and it wasn’t nearly as wonderful – to me. market hall foods sells both.

    i hope you get to give bottarga a go sometime soon.

  • 46 Jose Canseco // Jan 21, 2010 at 7:30 pm


    You peons are all so easily impressed.

  • 47 we are never full // Jan 24, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    there is nothing i don’t love about this dish. we were trying to do the same thing w/ bottarga – create more dishes w/ it. i love the creaminess of the sauce w/ the strong bottarga flavor. GOD sheeps milk ricotta…give me now.

  • 48 yveala // Jan 25, 2010 at 12:46 am

    this looks too delicious not to try..i’ll let you know how it turns out!

  • 49 Jaimee // Jan 25, 2010 at 1:09 am

    Just starting to feel comfortable in the kitchen and I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying your tips, recipes and photos.
    From one pasta lover to another – this one looks fantastic!

  • 50 Brett Corrieri // Jan 25, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Another source for tuna Bottarga is I have ordered from there a few times and it is very good.

    BTW-Homemade lardo available at Corrieri’s Formaggeria on Tuesday.

  • 51 Sophie // Feb 1, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Bottarga is new to me, but I can’t see myself saying no to this dish. I think I’m missing out… :)

  • 52 Dennis // Apr 25, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    Bottarga is new to me, but I can’t see myself saying no to this dish. I think I’m missing out… :)

  • 53 Mark // Oct 16, 2015 at 3:16 am

    Hi FredWith or without PSE&G spnnsoriog the luncheon those lines will be built. They will be built with or without approvals from the BPU as well. PSE&G has skipped the local municipal process because, rightly so, it is useless. How many elected officials would take an objective look at the real issues knowing many voters are upset. The idea of conducting informational meetings in all towns affected is fine. It is also always good form to listen to concerns and address issues presented. Again, to think that any town would publicly endorse this project is pure nonsense. Now while the BPU is being represented as the approval entity the reality is they to could very easily by bypassed and over ruled by the federal agencies. So this brings me to the nagging question in Montville Township as I sit as a township Committee member. Why don’t towns focus on the safety concerns and clear cutting issues? Even PSE&G has stated they are willing to take EMF measurements to bench line EMF on the existing 230KV line. Of course my 2 cent opinion is our BPU should mandate these measurements for all towns and force PSE&G to document the test equipment and methods used as well as taking those measurements in the summer months when usage is at its highest. The reality is that the possibility does exist the EMF levels could be lower with the new transmission line because some of the EMF would cancel out since two transmission lines will be operating on the same towers.Art Daughtry

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