bottarga 201

November 8th, 2007 · 13 Comments

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ok class.  after a brief hiatus we return with more ‘fun with bottarga’.  only this time, armed with our knowledge from the last course we are going to use the right kind of fish roe.  ok?  so did everyone bring their dried mullet sac with them?  good.  let us proceed. for those of you that read along you may recall my last stint with bottarga.  it was not a raging success to say the least.  i generously referred to that dish as ‘nice’ but even a lame description such as that was a total stretch.  quite honestly the whole experience left me somewhat confused as to  a) why anyone would want to pay $75 for a hunk of dried out cat food and  b) why anyone would want to eat dried out cat food at any price.  so i called market hall foods – bottarga supplier to the stars – to discuss the quandary and they were kind enough to ship me the mullet bottarga to replace the tuna bottarga in question.  and so my best bottarga buddies, from here on in to be referred to as ‘b3’, once again crossed the county line, showing up with a loaf of bread, a lemon, some parsley and a fine bottle of red – ready for whatever fate the bottarga gods had in store for us. first my b3 grated the bottarga and we added some australian olive oil – a 2006 yellingbo to the bowl. 

the roe absorbed most of the oil which deepened the color considerably.  note: reserve some bottarga and parsley for plating.

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to the pan i added the oil saturated bottarga, fresh lemon juice, minced garlic and parsley.  nothing else.  the bottarga has a perfect salt balance on it’s own and the salted pasta water flavored the de cecco #7 linguini.  the bottarga was warmed gently, not cooked.  the drained pasta was then added to the pan and tossed with the bottarga.

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as luck would have it, the bottarga gods smiled upon us that night.  i really loved this dish.  fishy, but rich – with depth.  the brightness of the lemon and hint of garlic were perfect against the roe.  and the quality of the oil melded these flavors into a winning combination.  now i get the whole bottarga hype.

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and as an aside, i find pasta to be extremely photogenic. 

anyone else? 

Tags: fish · pasta · seafood

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