Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bottarga Pasta and Champagne

I think I'm addicted to bottarga. I just go crazy about it so much.

I got a package of premium bottarga from my dearest friend...

There were two pieces. I kept one for for another use (I want to make bottarga onigiri - rice balls with the donabe rice!), and used one for tonight. To be precise, I used 2/3 of a piece for tonight's dish, because I snacked away 1/3 of it as I sliced it in the kitchen. (...because I'm a bottarga addict.)

To best enjoy the premium-quality bottarga, the simplest preparation is preferred. Bottarga spaghetti is one of my favorite pasta dishes. Here's my preparation.

Pasta with Bottarga and Wild Arugula
(for 2 servings)
7 oz spaghetti
1.5 tablespoons olive oil (I used the leftover from marinating the donabe smoked scallops!)
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 dry red chili
a large handful of wild arugula
1 piece bottarga, half sliced and half grated
salt and pepper

1. Boil the spaghetti in the lightly salted water according to the package's direction (make sure it's al dente)
2. 2 minutes before the spaghetti is ready, heat the olive oil and butter in a large saute pan. Infuse the garlic and dry chili for about a minute over medium. Remove the chili. (I like keeping the garlic, but if you like more classic way, you can just infuse an unsliced clove of garlic and remove it also.) Add 2-3 tablespoons of cooking water for the spaghetti.
3. Pour the drained spaghetti into the saute pan. Add the arugula and bottarga and quickly toss with the spaghetti.
4. Serve immediately with the coarsely ground black pepper.

I felt like I was in heaven! The dish was amazing. The bottarga had the nice chewy texture and the flavor was so dense and lightly salty. The dish made a magical mariage with Agrapart & Fils, Champagne Brut, Blanc de Blanc. The dish and wine together created the minerally sensation and I became a mermaid (in my head).

After half-way through of savoring the dish, a secret weapon was introduced. I sprinkled some broken Korean seaweed over the pasta. Yes, Korean seaweed with bottarga! They go wildly delicious together.