Spaghetti with bottarga and pistachios

Bottarga is the salted, cured fish roe of the mullet and makes for a great addition to pasta. Gaby Holland pairs this Italian delicay with pistachios, tomatoe and the zest of lemons and orange. 


  • 400g spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp ready-grated bottarga or 80g piece fresh bottarga, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ chopped chilli pepper, finely chopped
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 orange, zest only
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice

Pistachio and breadcrumb gremolata

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Small knob of butter
  • 40g pistachios, shelled and roughly chopped
  • 2 slices stale Maltese bread, ground in a food processor
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Pinch of salt


  1. To make the gremolata, heat the oil and butter in a frying pan and add the breadcrumbs, stirring until well coated.
  2. Add the minced garlic, pistachios, salt and sugar and cook until breadcrumbs are golden brown, (approx. 5 mins) and transfer to a plate.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta al dente.  
  4. Before draining, reserve a ladleful of the pasta water. 
  5. Meanwhile heat olive oil and add the garlic, chilli pepper and tomatoes. Cook for a couple of minutes until tomatoes start to soften.  
  6. Add the bottarga and zest and juice of the lemon and the orange zest.  
  7. Cook for another couple of minutes then stir in a little of the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce. Give all a good stir.  Season to taste.
  8. Drain pasta and mix in the bottarga mixture.  
  9. Toss to coat adding some more olive oil if necessary.  
  10. Transfer to serving plates and pass round the breadcrumb and pistachio topping. 
  11. Grate some more bottarga if you prefer a more intense flavour.

This recipe first appeared on Gourmet Today, June, 2016.

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