I have to admit that I have just recently discovered this dish, at least in the way you are going to read below. As you know, my family is from Sicily and the area around Trapani is well renowned for its tuna products, among which the famous tuna roe (bottarga di tonno). It is an amazing product… salty and tasty… and it is usually eaten in thin slices after being preserved in extra virgin olive oil. It is also used grated as a sauce for pasta. So, being of Sicilian origin, I have always used tuna roe instead of mullet roe which is more common in Sardinia. It is less salty than tuna roe and much smaller, but just as tasty! When I saw it at the Italian grocer, I had to buy it! And the result was so yummy, that I thought of sharing it with all of you.
I am sharing this recipe with Full Plate Thursday by Miz Helen and It’s a Keeper Thursday by Christina.
Ingredients for 4 persons:
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 big clove of garlic
80 gms dried and smoked mullet roe (bottarga di muggine), grated
1/2 tbps continental parsley, chopped fine
3 tbsp pasta water
Start by grating the mullet roe with a box grater and keep it aside. I usually cover the grater with a piece of baking paper so the roe doesn’t stick to the grater. This makes it much easier to collect all the grated roe, without wasting a big part of it in the grater.
Put the extra virgin olive oil and the garlic clove (halved) in a frying pan. Let the garlic fry for a minute on low fire.
Add 3/4 of the grated mullet row to the oil and mix well. Remove from the fire.
In the meantime, cook spaghetti following the steps on How to cook pasta “al dente” in the Techniques page of this site. While the pasta is cooking, take 3 tbsp of its water and put them in the pan with the bottarga. Mix well to make the sauce creamy.
When the pasta is ready, drain it and combine it with the bottarga and oil in the frying pan.
Serve with the remaining grated mullet roe on the top and garnish with some chopped parsley.
[email protected]'s Easy Cooking says
I love your photos…and the dish it self is so delicious and presentable!
Your dishes from Sicily making me go over there and taste some good food:)))
Ahh Maybe some day:)
Nuts about food says
I love bottarga di muggine and knew of it long before tasting tuna roe and “ficazza” in Trapani, where F’s family is from. They are different but both excellent in their own ways. The idea of covering the grater with baking parchment is interesting…so you place a sheet between the grater and the bottarga?
Guess we have more things in common than I thought… my mom is from Trapani and I still have lots of family members there! I love ficazza and all the other tuna products. Yes, I put the parchment paper between the grater and the bottarga… I do that when I grate lemon/orange zest as well. I find it so much easier… like that, nothing sticks to the grater! Have a great day!
Nuts about food says
Ma pensa! my husband has family there too…’tis a small world.
I am off to read your next recipe, a favorite if ours too, although I have never made it. Ciao!
Question to the expert, when you don’t find bottarga how do you substitute it? I think there must be something in Japanese or Chines stores, but I am never sure…. did you find any good substitute?
Mmmm I honestly have no idea… I would guess they might have something similar as they too eat fish roe, but I am not sure. 🙁
Hester Casey - Alchemy says
This sounds lovely – salty and fishy and quick to make. I am going to have to seek out mullet roe and give this dish a whirl.
Miz Helen says
I have never had Mullet Roe, but it sounds very interesting and delicious. I would like the salty flavor with the pasta and garlic oil. I will look for this product the next time I am in the City. I am sure that our little General Store doesn’t have it. Your tutorial photo’s are just awesome, you brought me right in the kitchen with you! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and please come back!
Thank you Miz Helen: it was a pleasure to share this pasta dish with Full Plate Thursday! I will definitely be back! 🙂
I have always been interested in Sicily, especially since the time my mother visited and told me about the Arab influence there (past, in architecture and so on); I visited Milan and while I liked it (I toured it on a bicycle with an Italian friend) to me it was this elegant northern city that I could not relate to. Love to have found your blog and getting familiar with Italian products and recipes. I have a great-grand-mother on my paternal side that is from Trieste and both my aunt and dad spoke italian at home so Italy is a place that I am drawn to, for a lot of reasons.
Sicily has been influenced a lot by the Arabs… culture, architecture and cuisine. I guess that’s why I love Middle Eastern food… I think in many things Sicily is more similar to the Arab world than to Italy: I am sure you would love it! The food is amazing! 🙂
This recipe looks delicious!
Ever since I visited Sardinia and DIDN’T try bottarga, I’ve been obsessed with finding some back in Canada!! It’s not easy to find, but when I go to the UK next month, I am definitely bringing some bottarga home!
AB Chef says
It is called Karasumi in Japanese. It is the same thing. They eat it in thin slices accompanied with thin slices of radish ( daicon ).