Spaghetti with Bottarga and Vegetables

So I was thinking of how to make use of my bottarga because, you know, I am an excited kid who wants to just use up new interesting ingredients asap. I keep coming across pasta recipes, and I figured, why fight it? I still have some leftover cooked spaghetti from making the guanciale pasta the other day and decided to just make pasta. I will be bringing it to work (I prefer to prepare and pack my lunch, healthier, yummier too) the next day.

Still in the pan

Still in the pan

It is a serious advantage to have ate Pines do all the dirty work on weeknights when I don’t wanna chop and make my fingers smell anymore. But I still do the actual cooking and tasting. I made a quick scan of recipes before going home and had a general idea on what to do.  Some grated the bottarga raw straight into the dish, but the warnings of my mom of having some creepy crawlies in my tummy made me opt for the cooked version. But since I was still going the healthy route, I decided to add some vegetables from the orange spectrum: carrots: squash and sun dried tomatoes.

The basic bottarga sauce was a mixture of bottarga and garlic, mashed all together with olive oil and lemon (I used calamansi instead). This forms a thick sauce, which was lovely already. Ideally this was to be tossed in hot noodles, like carbonara. But I set this aside.

In a pan, I quickly stir fried the carrots and squash, and set it aside. I then placed the bottarga mix into the pan and cooked it down, to kill off any would-be cooties. I then added the sundried tomatoes, then tossed in the pasta. I then added most of the vegetables (there was too much at this point). I tasted it. I ended up adding more bottarga, minced this time, and more calamansi juice.

Sliced

Sliced

The flavors were strong. Salty, fish in a good way, and sour. It reminded of me of a more luxurious anchovy, with the fish roe creating a creamier texture. The addition of the vegetables tempered the strong flavors, but it was still obviously present. I am happy to discover a dish like this. Although I have never been to Italy (someday, soon), I already am tasting the flavors of the country. 🙂

Spaghetti with Bottarga and Vegetables Recipes

Bottarga Paste

5 tablespoons of grated/sliced bottarga
4 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
olive oil, about 2 tablespoons
2 to 3 tablespoons of calamansi or lemon juice

1 cup cooked spaghetti
1/3 cup sliced carrots, stir fried
1/3 cup sliced squash, stir fried
15 pieces (havles) of sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
chili flakes, to taste
black pepper, to taste

In a mortar and pestle, create the bottarga paste by mixing all of the ingredients together and pounding until all of the ingredients resemble one mush. Set aside. In a pan, add a bit more olive oil, and lightly fry the paste. Toss in the pasta, quickly tossing it around, followed by the carrots, squash, and tomatoes. Mix all together until the flavors become one. Taste.  I decided to add some major heat to mine with chili flakes and black. Eat with gusto. 🙂

Making the paste

Making the paste

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