Spaghetti with Bottarga and Almond Bread Crumbs
- ACTIVE: 25 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 20 MIN
- SERVINGS: 8
When Piero traveled to the anchovy flavor); it's sold at specialty food stores. Though it might seem like a white wine dish, this spaghetti is rich enough to pair very well with a light Pinot Noir, like Piero's 2009 Bodega Chacra Barda. If that proves hard to find, look for something similar from Oregon, like the 2008 Adelsheim Willamette Valley.
- 1/2 cup large salt-packed capers
- 1 cup whole blanched almonds
- 1 1/2 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
- 1 1/2 ounces bottarga, preferably mullet, finely grated (3/4 cup)
- 1 pound spaghetti
- Soak the capers in a bowl of cold water for 1 hour. Drain and finely chop the capers.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°. Toast the almonds on a baking sheet for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Let the almonds cool, then coarsely chop them; transfer to a food processor and finely grind.
- Spread the bread crumbs on the baking sheet and toast in the oven until crisp. Let cool, then toss with the almonds and parsley.
- In a large pot, melt the butter in 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the capers, crushed red pepper and half of the bottarga and cook over moderate heat until sizzling, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- In another large pot of boiling salted water, cook the spaghetti, stirring, until al dente. Drain the spaghetti, reserving 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking water. Add the pasta to the bottarga sauce. Stir in the reserved cooking water, 2 tablespoons at a time, until the pasta is coated with a rich sauce.
- Scatter one-fourth of the bread crumb mixture in a large, shallow bowl. Top with one-third of the pasta. Repeat the layering twice more, ending with the bread crumb mixture. Sprinkle the remaining bottarga over the pasta and drizzle with the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Serve right away.