Saturday, April 12, 2014

La Bottarga’ is fish roe that is air dried and cured. It is a sustainable delicacy that adds a refined flavor experience to Italian, French and other Mediterranean dishes.   In Italy bottarga is derived from mullet, tuna or sometimes swordfish, and then processed by salting, pressing and sun drying it.  It is called Boutargue in France, and Botargo in North Africa.  A similar product in Japan is called Karasumi, which is also derived from the mullet fish.  The Japanese product is then which is also derived from the mullet fish.  The Japanese product is then desalted by soaking it in fresh water before drying.   Sparkling Vermentino, Champagne,  premium vodkas, and red or black Mediterranean wines make fine accompaniments.   
Bottarga breaks into Hollywood!
If you haven’t already noticed bottarga has been getting a lot of buzz lately. Chefs and gourmet experts such as Mario Batali, John Eisenhart, Tyler Rodde, Curtis Di Fede, Tyler Florence, Martha Steward, Geoffrey Zakarian and others have featured the ancient delicacy on their cooking shows. In addition, bottarga has recently shown up as the star ingredient on ‘Chopped’, ‘Iron Chef America’ and ‘The Chew’.
Bottarga’s simple and delicate sea flavor is the ultimate enhancement for appetizers and main courses. Its popularity with nobility and gourmands has survived the test of time and continues to please.  Its no wonder its become a true culinary celebrity!

Spaghetti alla Bottarga
Recipe Courtesy of Mario Batali
Show: Molto Mario Episode: Foggia I  Yield:  4 servings   Level: Easy
8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper 2
cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 pound spaghetti, preferably Italian
2 bunches Italian parsley, finely chopped, to yield 1/2 cup 6 ounces Bottarga, tuna or mullet Peeler or small mandolin
Zest of 2 lemons
Directions:  Heat 6 quarts water to boil and add 2 tablespoons salt. In a 12- to 14-inch saute pan, heat olive oil, red pepper and garlic over low heat until just fragrant, about 2 minutes, and remove from heat. Cook spaghetti according to package instructions until just al dente. Drain and pour into oil mixture and add parsley. Toss to mix well over medium heat and pour into warmed serving bowl. Shave Bottarga over bowl, sprinkle with lemon zest and serve immediately.
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