- 10 black mussels (about 300gm)
- 100 ml white wine
- 60 gm bottarga (see note) coarsely chopped, plus extra to serve
- 200 gm dried spaghetti
- 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced on a mandoline
- 1 birdseye chilli (seeds optional), thinly sliced
- 1 tsp lemon juice (or to taste)
- 1Heat a saucepan over high heat until hot (1-2 minutes). Add mussels and wine, cover, and cook until mussels open and release their juices (2-3 minutes). Strain through a fine sieve, reserving liquid (save mussels, debeard them, and drizzle with olive oil and vinegar for a snack). Transfer mussel juice and bottarga to a blender and blend on high until smooth, then pass through a fine sieve.
- 2Cook spaghetti in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (7-8 minutes). Drain, reserving a little pasta water.
- 3Meanwhile, add oil, garlic and chilli to a saucepan over low heat and stir occasionally until garlic starts to turn light golden (4-6 minutes). Add mussel and bottarga sauce, then spaghetti. Toss spaghetti and sauce together to emulsify and thicken, adding a little pasta water to thin it out if necessary (1-2 minutes). Finish with a squeeze of lemon. Twirl onto plates and finely grate remaining bottarga over the top.
Bottarga is salted and dried mullet roe. It's available from select fishmongers, delicatessens and David Jones food halls.Wine suggestion: 2015 La Ginestra Trebbiano. A rustic farmer wine, savoury-fruited, leather-booted and intense. Wine suggestion by Andy Tyson.