Saturday, June 11, 2011

Pasta with Tuna Bottarga and Bread Crumbs

Last weekend when Alex and I went to Chelsea Market we ended up buying a little thing of tuna bottarga (Italian dried tuna or mullet roe).  I knew that there were a few Batali recipes picked out that I wanted to make if we ever happened to buy some bottarga at Buon Italia.  And now that we bought bottarga, we just had to figure out which recipe to make.  I got it down to two recipes - this recipe for Chitarra with Tuna Bottarga and Bread Crumbs from our Esca cookbook, and a recipe for Linguine with Zucchini and Bottarga in Molto Gusto.  In the end we decided to make this recipe because it didn't require another trip to the grocery store and it was easier.  After gorging ourselves on meat at Big Apple BBQ this morning we were both in the mood for a simple meal.  We also really needed to use up some of the pasta we have stocked up on recently.  Somehow we have gone from having almost no pasta in the house to having dried pastas of all sorts - tagliatelle, pappardelle, orzo, farro spaghetti...  Since our cabinet space is at a premium here in NYC, we really need to clear out the cupboards a little bit.  So don't be surprised if we go on a bit of a pasta binge in the coming weeks.

I would put this recipe on my solid like list.  It was easy to throw together and tasty.  It wasn't the most amazing pasta that I have every made or eaten, but it was a fun departure from our usual recipes.  I'm not certain that I have ever had bottarga before, but it was rich, salty and funky.  It's a little fishy, but not as fishy as I thought it would be.  The homemade bread crumbs provided a really nice touch.  I'm currently trying to come up with more recipes to use the bread crumbs because once you make a batch you end up with a TON of really nice bread crumbs.  Hurry for good food!

Recipe after the jump!

Chitarra with Tuna Bottarga and Bread Crumbs
The Young Man & the Sea: Recipes & Crispy Fish Tales from Esca
By Dave Pasternack & Ed Levine

1 lb chitarra or linguine (we didn't have either, so we used bucatini)
6 tbsp evoo, plus high-quality evoo, for drizzling
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 tbsp Italian-Style Bread Crumbs (see below)
6 oz tuna bottarga

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook for 1 minute less than the package instructions direct.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the 6 tbsp evoo in a large saucepan over a medium flame until hot but not smoking.  Add the garlic and lightly brown, 4-5 minutes.

When the pasta is finished, drain and reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid.  Add the pasta and cooking liquid to the saute pan and raise the flame to medium-high.  Toss to combine the pasta with the evoo and garlic while the liquid comes to a simmer.  Cook for 45 seconds, then remove from the heat.

Add parsley, s&p, and hal of the bread crumbs.  Toss to combine.  Divide pasta into four serving bowls, drizzle with high-quality evoo, and top with the remaining bread crumbs.  Grate or shave bottarga over each plate and serve.

Italian-Style Bread Crumbs
The Young Man & the Sea: Recipes & Crispy Fish Tales from Esca
By Dave Pasternack & Ed Levine

1 loaf Italian bread
1 1/2 tbsp evoo
1 tsp garlic, finely diced
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 1/2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp finely ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Tear bread into roughly 2-inch chunks.  Place on a baking sheet.  Bake until the bread is dry and crunchy, about 15 minutes.  Put the chunks in a food processor and pulse to a fine crumb.  Set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp of the evoo in a small saute pan.  Add the garlic and stir until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes.  Add the lemon zest and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant.  Add the bread crumbs, parsley, and the remaining 1/2 tbsp evoo.  Stir well.  Season with s&p and remove from the heat.

Bread crumbs can be stored in a covered container until ready to use.

1 comment:

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