Spaghetti alla Bottarga with Meyer lemon and parsley
I was going to call it “Spaghetti alla Bottarga con Limone e Prezzemolo” but that seemed too fussy, so I broke half of it into English. That way I can confuse the Italians and English-speakers who find me accidentally through Google. Plus I don’t know how to say “Meyer lemon” in Italian.
So, I got some bottarga. Color me smug. I didn’t win any during that auction last Christmas, but was able to procure some anyways through a combination of whining and extremely good fortune. A generous Floridian fisherman took pity on me and sent a little sunshine my way, and I didn’t even have to show him my tits.
Bottarga is a sun-dried, salt-cured mullet roe sac (though tuna is also used in Sardinia). This stuff is intensely flavorful, and little shaving is all you need. It’s like the flavor of Mother Ocean and rich egg yolk fecundity concentrated down to a briny little ochrecake, and begs for citrus, olive oil and minerally herbs (I’m also interested in tasting it as karasumi to enjoy with cold sesame soba and premium sake but that’s another day).
This hot little bitch doesn’t play second fiddle to anyone (the bottarga, not me). I merely shaved it over some fresh spaghetti that I’d tossed aglio e olio with the zest and juice of a Meyer lemon, some chopped parsley and lots of good, crunchy sea salt. I warmed the garlic and lemon zest/juice in the olive oil before tossing it together to volatilize the fragrant essence, but other than boiling pasta, I didn’t even have to cook to do this dish proper justice.