Pasta con la Bottarga (Pasta With Bottarga) Recipe

4 servings


30 minutes

total time


2 ounces (60g; about 1 whole lobe) mullet bottarga (see notes)

1/2 cup (120ml) extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves (10g), lightly crushed

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Kosher salt

12 ounces (340g) dried long pasta such as spaghetti, spaghettoni, or linguine

1 loosely packed cup (1/2 ounce; 15g) fresh parsley leaves and tender stems, finely chopped

1 tablespoon (15ml) fresh lemon juice, plus finely grated zest of 1 lemon


Using a sharp knife, gently score bottarga lobe down its length to expose pellicle, or membrane. Using your hands, peel away pellicle and discard. Using a rasp grater (Microplane), finely grate all but 1/4 ounce (10g; about 2-inch piece) bottarga onto a plate or small rimmed baking sheet. Set aside grated bottarga, as well as the remaining small piece of bottarga and grater.

In a large skillet or straight-sided sauté pan, combine oil and garlic. Cook over medium heat, turning garlic cloves occasionally, until garlic is deep golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove garlic from skillet; reserve garlic for another use or discard. Add red pepper flakes and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Remove skillet from heat, add all of the grated bottarga (1 3/4 ounces; 50g), and stir until well-combined with olive oil; set aside.

Meanwhile, in a wide-bottomed pot, combine 3 quarts (3L) of water and 1 tablespoon (12g) salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook, stirring frequently for first 30 seconds to prevent noodles from sticking. Cook pasta until al dente (start tasting noodles for doneness 2 minutes before suggested cooking time on package). Just before pasta is ready, transfer 1/2 cup (120ml) pasta cooking water to skillet with olive oil-bottarga mixture, and stir to combine with a rubber spatula.

Using tongs, transfer pasta to skillet (which remains off-heat), and reserve remaining pasta cooking water. Alternatively, drain pasta using a colander or fine-mesh strainer, making sure to reserve at least 1 cup (240ml) pasta cooking water. Rapidly stir and toss pasta until sauce is emulsified, evenly coats noodles, and pools around edges of the skillet, 30 seconds to 1 minute, adding more pasta cooking water in 1/4 cup (60ml) increments as needed to adjust consistency of sauce.

Add parsley, lemon juice, and zest, and stir to combine. Season with salt to taste. Divide between individual serving bowls, grate remaining bottarga over top, and serve.


Serving Size

Serves 4


585 kcal

Total Fat

30 g

Saturated Fat

4 g

Unsaturated Fat

0 g

Trans Fat



56 mg


258 mg

Total Carbohydrate

65 g

Dietary Fiber

3 g

Total Sugars

2 g


15 g

4 servings


30 minutes

total time
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