Bottarga Pasta Recipe

Bottarga Pasta Recipe

If you’re not familiar with bottarga, this will be a new and exciting recipe to add to your repertoire. Bottarga is fish roe that’s been salted and then pressed and dried in what is essentially a curing process. It makes bottarga a satisfyingly savory ingredient, salty and packed with umami flavor. In this dish, it adds a deliciously salty punch of flavor to fresh pasta, parsley, garlic, red pepper flakes, and lemon.

While it can be a pricey item to keep on hand, you can usually find bottarga at specialty food stores or order it online. Purchase this ingredient grated in small amounts and add to vegetables, salads, pasta, on top of bagels, and even sprinkled on chowders and other soups.

This version of the pasta combines the salty, tangy flavor of bottarga with the spicy bite of red pepper flakes and the zest of lemon to create a well-rounded and simple dish. Pair this pasta with a lean protein like grilled chicken or prawns and a light green salad. You can add as much or as little of the red pepper as you desire, or you can remove it altogether if you aren’t a fan of spice.

“Some of my favorite recipes are those that are simple with tons of flavor. I have never had bottarga before, but it really does add a special something to the simple ingredients featured in this dish. If you are looking for a quick/easy recipe that is sure to impress, no need to look any further”. —Kiana Rollins

Bottarga Pasta/Tester Image A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 cloves garlic, lightly crushed

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste

  • 1 tablespoon grated bottarga, more to taste

  • 12 ounces dry or fresh pasta, such as spaghetti or linguine 

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Bottarga Pasta ingredients

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil.

    Water boiling in a pot, on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant and golden, 5 to 6 minutes.

    Garlic, oil and red pepper flakes in a pan with a wooden spoon, on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Remove from heat and stir in the bottarga. Set aside.

    Garlic and red pepper flakes in a pan with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions to al dente.

    Pasta cooking in a pot on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  6. Drain the pasta, reserving one cup of the pasta cooking water.

    Pasta in a strainer and pasta water in a measuring cup

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  7. Add the cooked pasta to the bottarga mixture to the skillet and toss to coat.

    Add the cooked pasta to the bottarga mixture in the pan, and mix with tongs

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  8. Return the skillet to medium heat. Add some of the reserved pasta water, a splash at a time, if the pasta looks dry.

    Pasta water added to the pasta in the pan

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  9. Toss with half the parsley, the lemon zest, and juice.

    Parsley, the lemon zest, and juice added to the pasta in the pan, on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  10. Transfer to a serving platter or individual plates and garnish with the remaining parsley. Serve immediately.

    Bottarga Pasta on a plate with a fork

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

How to Store

This pasta dish is best served and eaten right after cooking. However, if you happen to have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container for up to five days. Reheat the pasta in the microwave until warmed through or on the stovetop in a skillet with about 1/4 cup of water or stock. 

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