Spaghetti with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes and Bottarga Shavings

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    4

    as a first course

Appears in

The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen

By Paula Wolfert

Published 2003

  • About

Here's a truly outstanding sauce for spaghetti. Slow-roasting halved cherry tomatoes brings out their sweetness and intensifies their flavor. The resulting sweetened, blistered, and charred tomatoes are especially delicious when combined with pungent shavings of Sardinian caviar.

Ingredients

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes (about 10 ounces)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 ounces Sardinian caviar (bottarga di muggine)
  • ¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • ¾ pound spaghetti

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. While the oven is heating, cut each tomato in half and arrange cut side up in an oiled 10-inch flameproof baking dish, preferably a cazuela. Add the garlic, sugar, and bay leaf and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake for 1 hour, or until the tomatoes are lightly caramelized.
  2. Grate the bottarga on the coarsest side of a four-sided grater or on a flat shredder. Toss with the lemon zest and ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper. Soak the bottarga in a few tablespoons olive oil to keep it moist and soft.
  3. Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water until almost tender. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water.
  4. Place a flameproof baking dish with the tomatoes over medium heat. Add the reserved pasta water and the spaghetti to the dish. Fold in the bottarga and continue cooking over medium heat for 1 minute. Divide among 4 warmed serving plates and serve at once with more olive oil.