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Bottarga


davebr
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In the current Wine Sprectator, the article on the French Laundry and Per Se, they talk about a pasta dish that they grate Bottarga (Dried fish roe) over the pasta and the sommelier paired it with a sake.

Does anyone have a resource that I can buy Bottarga?

What kind of fish is it from?

Gorganzola, Provolone, Don't even get me started on this microphone.---MCA Beastie Boys

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Bottarga is fantastic, not just over pasta but in any number of ways, thinly sliced like carpaccio and marinated to serve as an antipasto, used in salads, mixed into a paste or spread to have on crostini. Basically it's the roe from either tuna or grey mullet, first salted, pressed, then air-dried. It comes mainly from Sicily and Sardegna. The taste is assertive and robust, deeply intriguing, salty but never overly fishy. Gustiamo is a source for the US; Savoria has bluefin bottarga for the UK.

MP

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Paula Wolfert's latest Slow Mediterranean Kitchen has a few recipes that utilize bottarga (a favorite of mine is an appetizer, Crostini with Sardinian Caviar (Bottarga di Muggine), Tomato, and Celery) and her index indicates it can be mail ordered through Manicaretti-Market, the Pasta Shop, and Corti Brothers.

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Paula Wolfert's latest Slow Mediterranean Kitchen has a few recipes that utilize bottarga (a favorite of mine is an appetizer, Crostini with Sardinian Caviar (Bottarga di Muggine), Tomato, and Celery) and her index indicates it can be mail ordered through Manicaretti-Market, the Pasta Shop, and Corti Brothers.

Thanks for the help Carolyn.

Gorganzola, Provolone, Don't even get me started on this microphone.---MCA Beastie Boys

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Ciao,

I think Bottarga is more a Mediterranean thing then an only Italian thing. My family, with a strong Tunisian & French Influence, eats it on a daily basis. The type is see most often is about 6 to 8 inches long. It is covered in white wax to keep better. The taste is great, fishy, but not overly, salty, but again, edible! Very good with toast or on the side with salads too!

Ciao,

Ore

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  • 4 years later...

What you're talking about is bottarga, the salted/pressed/dried roe of the grey mullet or tuna. It's the mullet that you want (bottarga di mugine, from Sardinia).

I hope you got a whole piece that you can grate for yourself, because the pre-grated stuff can taste a bit like cat food.

Anyway, I love its funky fishiness. Just grate it over pasta as you would a cheese. It can be delicious over pasta dressed with something as simple as oil, garlic, a few chili flakes and a handful of minced parsley.

For something more involved, here is a recipe of mine that was run in Saveur a while back:

http://www.saveur.com/article/Food/Spaghet...amelized-Fennel

--

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I purchased a whole piece of tuna bottarga at Chelsea Market.. I also bought mullet roe. Thank you. Tonight might be the wrong night to play around with it as my guests are coming from Italy.

Edited by figs (log)
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Instead of grating it straight onto the pasta, for variation you can grate it then put this into some olive oil that has had some garlic cooked in it. You only want to do this for a moment or two, otherwise it will burn. This then can be used to dress the pasta. It alters the flavour and reduces the fish flavour, while enhancing a nutty sweetness.

Bortargo is also surprisingly good with beans (white beans cooked with olive oil, garlic and sage for instance).

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...
A friend just brought me some tuna bottarga from Italy. Beyond the "grate over pasta"  approach, how else can I use it in interesting ways?

You can smash it in a morar and pestal and spread on toasts. Don't be afraid to open it. I think you should taste it first and it would be easier for you to determine how you would best enjoy it.

Edited by ChefSlade (log)
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  • 1 month later...

To make a long story short: over the years I've eaten enough restaurant dishes with bottarga, (boutargue, botarga) and its Asian cousins (of which Taiwanese is the best to my taste, although Japanese is good too) to know that I really like the grey mullet kind the most and should buy some to enjoy at home.

According to my recent Google search it is available in US. Some sellers insist on a two day shipping, especially during the hot summer months. This afternoon I discovered that at my favorite Italian deli/grocery store in Washington DC they keep bottarga that is covered with beeswax and plastic on a shelf behind the counter, in other words it is not refrigerated. $150 for 12 oz.

Please advise: to buy or not to buy? Does anybody know bottarga's shelf life? The cheapest bottarga that I found on the internet is $52 for 5oz plus 2 day shipping. (Botarga I saw today, as I said, is covered with wax, it does not look as shiny as bottarga in Nate Appleman's, "A16, Food+Wine book," pg 74.

Skipper

PS: Please remember, good bottarga can add magic not to just simple pasta dish, ... if I only had the ability to describe what it does to watermelon! Of course, my daughter is campaigning for a trip to Sardinia to buy it... :raz:

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  • 2 years later...

I was finally able to put my hands on some bottarga (mullet) so I made the dish that Sam recommended upthread.

Linguini with oven-roasted tomatoes, caramelized fennel, and bottarga (original recipe here)

7411100694_e16233987a_z.jpg

Instead of spaghetti, I used fresh lemon/pepper linguine which gave an extra boost of flavor to the dish. Since the linguini had some heat already, I did not add the chilies to the sauce. The sauce contains slow-roasted tomatoes together with caramelized red onion and fennel. The pasta is garnished with toasted breadcrumbs and the bottarga is grated on top (I used a microplane zester). I did not have any parsley left so I used the fennel fronds instead.

It was fantastic. The bottarga added a layer of flavor that reminded me of good sea urchin (uni) - briny, with an ocean/iodine flavor.

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oh, how lovely. and I have an idea for dinner this weekend. guess who has mullet bottarga in his refrigerator -- bought from Eataly a few weeks ago.

Soba - Thanks! I love your pasta dishes (including the recent ones you posted to the dinner thread). They are a great source of inspiration for me.

Next I think I just want to try some sliced bottarga on a piece of buttered baguette...

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I was finally able to put my hands on some bottarga (mullet) so I made the dish that Sam recommended upthread.

Linguini with oven-roasted tomatoes, caramelized fennel, and bottarga (original recipe here)

7411100694_e16233987a_z.jpg

Instead of spaghetti, I used fresh lemon/pepper linguine which gave an extra boost of flavor to the dish. Since the linguini had some heat already, I did not add the chilies to the sauce. The sauce contains slow-roasted tomatoes together with caramelized red onion and fennel. The pasta is garnished with toasted breadcrumbs and the bottarga is grated on top (I used a microplane zester). I did not have any parsley left so I used the fennel fronds instead.

It was fantastic. The bottarga added a layer of flavor that reminded me of good sea urchin (uni) - briny, with an ocean/iodine flavor.

Hey thanks for link of the recipe! Got to try it but thinking to experiment with more other ingredients, i will see... Good thing is you can do various combination with pasta.

"The way you cut your meat reflects the way you live."

Franchise Takeaway

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