Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Spaghetti Alla Bottarga

Everyone's got a favourite pasta, for some it may be the classic bolognese,  others love mac and cheese, I love bottarga. I first tasted bottarga 8 years ago, a friend brought me to his local Italian restaurant in Victoria called Olivo. He ordered an extra large bottarga and suggested I do the same. Never having even heard of bottarga, I asked what it was, to which he answered "it's dried fish eggs". I remember crinkling my nose and thinking "that doesn't sound appetising at all" and boy I was wrong!! 

A traditional Sardinian pasta dish, the spaghetti comes simply dressed with just butter and grey mullet roe -- some sliced the rest grated, giving the most incredible flavour. Is it fishy? A bit, but distinctive from fresh seafood with more depth and saltier. Is it addictive? Definitely! I've been back to Olivo as well as its sister restaurants Olivo Mare and Olivetto more times than any other Italian in London, ordering bottarga every time. Is it an acquired taste? Like Marmite, some love it others don't. But if you like fish roe like salmon roe (ikura) you'd love bottarga. You can even buy a slab from Olivo's deli and try making the pasta at home! (This Martha Stewart recipe looks amazing http://www.marthastewart.com/315053/bottarga-pasta) It's also super yummy grated on pizza and salads for an added dimension of taste.

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