Spaghetti With Zucchini, Parsley Pesto and Bottarga
Bottarga, the salted, cured roe of grey mullet or tuna, is a delicacy enjoyed by many. It is especially beloved in Sardinia and Sicily, but is eaten throughout the Mediterranean and around the world. Bottarga has a bright, briny flavor and is used to complement any number of dishes. Here, a simple zucchini pasta with a bright green (cheeseless, nutless) parsley pesto is showered with grated bottarga and crisp bread crumbs. Look for bottarga at Italian shops or online. It’s available grated, but it is better to buy whole lobes and grate your own. Once the package is opened, it will keep for months in the refrigerator.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 2cups roughly chopped parsley
- 4garlic cloves, roughly chopped, or 2 tablespoons finely chopped green garlic
- Salt and pepper
- ¾cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1pound spaghetti
- 2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2pounds medium zucchini, cut in 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
- Salt and pepper
- Large pinch of red-pepper flakes
- 1teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 4tablespoons grated bottarga (4 to 6 ounces)
- About 1/2 cup toasted bread crumbs (see Note)
- Lemon wedges, for serving
Step 1Make the pesto: Put parsley in a food processor or blender. Add garlic, a good pinch of salt, black pepper to taste, and olive oil. Whirl to make a smooth sauce. You should have about 1 cup of pesto.
Step 2Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook spaghetti according to package directions until al dente, erring on the slightly underdone side.
Step 3While the pasta cooks, put about 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the zucchini for about 2 minutes. Let it brown a little. Add salt, pepper, red-pepper flakes and lemon zest.
Step 4Add drained pasta to skillet along with half the pesto. Toss everything together. Taste, and add more salt or pesto as needed. (Wrap and refrigerate any remaining pesto for up to 2 days or freeze for future use.)
Step 5Divide pasta among individual plates and sprinkle generously with bottarga. Top with bread crumbs, and serve with lemon wedges.