Spaghetti Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino con Bottarga

Muggine bottarga (cured mullet roe) is an ancient traditional food from the island of Sardinia in Italy. I have enjoyed this treat for so many years I just had to share it with you. A classic pasta dish from Italy becomes a specialty by adding bottarga to it. Enjoy!

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
4 servings


  • 1 (16 ounce) package spaghetti

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, or more to taste

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 red chile pepper, seeded and minced

  • 2 ounces grated Sardinian mullet bottarga, divided

  • 4 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

  • 1 small lemon, zested


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 12 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat.

  3. Add garlic to the oil and cook until just warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes. Add chile pepper and stir together, reducing the temperature to medium-low. Continue stirring. The garlic should never become dark brown or crispy. If this has happened, the garlic is burnt and no longer appropriate for consumption.

  4. Drain the pasta, reserving at least 1 cup pasta water. Add the spaghetti to the oil mixture, still on medium-low heat. Stir or toss until all the spaghetti is well coated. Add 3/4 of the bottarga and stir to mix with the spaghetti, adding the reserved pasta water to hydrate as needed. There should be a little "sauce" when serving but not soupy.

  5. Divide onto 4 plates and sprinkle with chopped parsley and lemon zest; squeeze lemon juice over and sprinkle remaining bottarga on top right before serving.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

554 Calories
16g Fat
88g Carbs
15g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 554
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g 20%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Sodium 11mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 88g 32%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 15g
Vitamin C 38mg 191%
Calcium 46mg 4%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 344mg 7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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