Pasta a la Bottarga or Spaghetti con Uova de Pesce, granted sounds a whole lot better than Pasta Mújol, so if, like me, you think you don’t much care for mújol—the cured, salted grey mullet roe of the south that you see sold together with hunks of bacalao and mojama (air-cured tuna) in the Boqueria—try it the Sicilian or Sardinian ways, with a pinch of hot red chilli pepper and lemon zest over pasta.
Here in Spain, huevos de mújol are traditionally served as a tapa cut into thin slices and drizzled with a little olive oil to serve with a glass of Fino or Manzanilla. But they can be a little full-on and fish-oily. This dish was inspired by a recipe by Antonio Carluccio and makes a great introduction to the product.
INGREDIENTS (SERVES FOUR)
· 200g dried pasta, such as conchigliette
· 2-3 tbsp olive oil
· 4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
· ½ -1 tsp chilli flakes (or to taste)
· 50g mújol
· zest of two lemons
· large handful parsley, finely chopped
· salt and pepper
Cook the pasta according to packet instructions until al dente. Reserve around 50ml of the cooking liquid for use later. Heat the olive oil in a shallow pan, add the garlic and sauté until golden and sticky looking. Add the chilli and cook for another minute or two, before adding the lemon zest and most of the parsley (save some to garnish). Add the drained pasta to the garlic mix along with just enough cooking liquid to give it a bit of juice. Shave the mújol over the top using a mandolin slicer, a fine grater or microplane. Stir well so that the mújol starts melting into the pasta. Check for seasoning (it probably won’t need any salt, but this is up to you), and sprinkle on the remaining parsley to serve.
A crisp green salad for contrast—I like watercress, rocket and other peppery leaves—and a light rosé wine like a Muga Rosado 2010 from la Rioja.