Japanese pasta recipes are a wonder unto themselves. Using Japanese ingredients that cross over into Italian cuisine, such as dried mullet roe (karasumi in Japanese, bottarga in Italian) and sea urchin, these dishes are close to their Italian ancestors. This simple sea urchin pasta is Hokkaido in a nutshell, combining the taste of the cold weather sea urchin with famed Hokkaido cream.
- 200 g dried spaghetti
- 50 g Hokkaido butter
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp sake (optional)
- 100 ml Hokkaido cream
- 100 g fresh sea urchin roe
- ½ tsp salt
- nori seaweed strips, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Boil the spaghetti in plenty of salted water, until al dente. Drain, reserving ¼-½ cup cooking water.
Heat the butter in a frying pan and cook the garlic until fragrant and softened, but not browned. Add the sake, if using, and cream and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add in half the sea urchin roe, mashing it with a spoon and combining it with the sauce.
Add the spaghetti to the pan and toss to coat in the sauce, adding a few spoonfuls of the reserved cooking water. Season with the salt and transfer to a plate. Top with the remaining sea urchin roe, and allow the spaghetti to warm it through (at this stage you can gratiné this sea urchin with a blowtorch, if you like). Scatter over the nori and serve.