Carlotta Soper photo Matthew Donaldson
This is the first in a series of newsletters featuring chefs of The River Cafe.
In the coming weeks, they will tell you about their favourite recipes using ingredients you can find in Shop The River Cafe.
Best of all, each chef will share special tips and techniques for making the dish. We begin with Carlotta Soper, who has worked in the River Cafe for four years. Carlotta credits her Italian grandmother with inspiring her to become a chef.
Bottarga di Muggine
This is an absolute favourite of mine.
It reminds me of my mother’s family and the summer holidays we would take in Sardinia. This particular Bottarga is made with whole, dried roe of grey mullet; it’s a speciality of Carloforte, a fishing town on the Italian island of San Pietro.
It can be grated over warm carta di musica (a paper-thin, baked flatbread), shaved over a tomato and celery salad, stirred through a risotto, grated over poached langoustine or my favourite—tossed through spaghetti!
Spaghetti alla Bottarga
At home I’m quite generous with the bottarga. I grate the bottarga into a cold pan, off the heat. While the spaghetti is cooking in salted water, I use 1/2 a ladle of pasta water to help melt the bottarga. Then I whisk in a generous amount of olive oil, until it sort of emulsifies. (Some people add a squeeze of lemon).
When the pasta is al dente, I reserve a little pasta water and drain the pasta. I toss it through the bottarga sauce, and loosen with a bit more pasta water if needed. And I always finish it with more grated bottarga on top!
Photography by Matthew Donaldson
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