• Spaghetti alla bottarga (Sharyn Cairns)Source: Sharyn Cairns

This simple pasta dish is one of the best ways to showcase the unique concentrated flavour that bottarga, “the gold of the sea”, often adds. Food Safari Water






Skill level

Average: 2.6 (35 votes)


  • 500 g spaghetti
  • 50 g salt
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
  • ½ bird’s eye chilli, finely sliced
  • 8 very ripened cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley including the tender stalks, finely chopped
  • 50 g bottarga, skin removed, plus extra to serve

Cook's notes

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.


Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the salt, then add the pasta and cook for 2-3 minutes.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil, garlic and chilli and allow to sizzle for 10 seconds. Add the tomatoes and crush gently with the back of a spoon. Simmer for 1 minute, then add a little parsley before grating in three-quarters of the bottarga. Remove from the heat. Using tongs, remove the pasta from the water (it should be only half cooked at this point) and add a ladle of the pasta water to the pan. Shake the pan to emulsify and return to the heat. Continue to cook, shaking and stirring, over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes or until the pasta is al dente. Add a little more of the pasta water if required to make a sauce.

Remove from the heat and stir through the remaining parsley and bottarga. Drizzle with extra olive oil and shake to emulsify once again. Serve with a little extra bottarga grated over the top.


Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Rachel Lane. Creative concept by Belinda So.

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