Spaghetti with bottarga from orbetello

Spaghetti with bottarga from orbetello

Spaghetti alla bottarga diorbetello

By
From
Acquacotta
Serves
4
Photographer
Emiko Davies; Lauren Bamford

Bottarga di Orbetello is different from that of Sardinia and other places. It’s stronger in flavour, salty (naturally) but with a backnote that I can’t quite put my finger on – bittersweet, perhaps. It’s also softer in texture, so you can slice it and eat it with just a squeeze of lemon and a splash of olive oil on crostini. The longer you keep it, the darker and drier it gets until you just need to grate it.

The extreme care with which the bottarga is collected, prepared and preserved in Orbetello is reflected in the price – a plate of Spaghetti alla Bottarga di Orbetello will easily be the most expensive plate of pasta on the menu. But, thankfully, it’s very easy to reproduce this dish at home and, like other prized ingredients such as caviar or truffles, a little goes a long way. This makes a very quick and tasty dinner solution.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
320g dried spaghetti
50g bottarga di orbetello, grated
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Method

  1. Put the pasta in a large pot of boiling, well-salted water. Cook until al dente (follow the recommended timing on the packet).
  2. Drain, setting aside some of the pasta cooking liquid. Immediately toss the hot pasta with the bottarga, the lemon juice, the olive oil and a little splash of the pasta cooking liquid. Toss again quickly so that the liquids create a saucy emulsion. Garnish with the chopped parsley and serve.

Note

  • You can usually buy bottarga from good Italian delis or speciality gourmet food shops.

    Bottarga needs to be peeled of its extremely thin ‘skin’ before grating or slicing; once you cut into it, you can easily peel off the skin of the portion you need with your hands. Leave the skin on the rest of the bottarga to help preserve it until next use. If you don’t eat it very often, store the bottarga in the freezer so that it retains its freshness.
Tags:
Italian
Tuscany
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