As a kid and recent immigrant to the US, I remember being teased by a classmate because “you people eat raw meat!” As a kindergartner, I must have been offended by his derogatory tone – but what I remember more clearly is my amazement at how misinformed he was. “Are all Americans this ignorant?,” I wondered.
Thinking about it now, that kid was probably referring to our consumption of raw fish … something that was probably considered barbaric by the average American way back then. But fast forward a few decades … and my bets are on the grown-up, hippy version of that kid being a “woke”, proud, self-proclaimed lover of sushi. I supposed we have come a long way in cultural acceptance, at least in the food – or foodie – sphere.
Cod roe pasta is not something new to the Italian menu, but the Japanese version of it has such a wonderful mix of flavors that it’s become a popular item on the Japanese menu. Butter and soy sauce is truly a match made in heaven, and the addition of the cod roe elevates the umami to a whole new level. This pasta is incredibly simple to make – yes, you can prepare the sauce while the pasta is boiling – and requires just a handful of ingredients. If you can get your hands on some tarako (Japanese salted cod roe), the flavor-to-effort ratio is off the charts!
- One pack of dry spaghetti (1 lb)
- Two sacks(?) of tarako (Japanese salted pollock roe) – or mentaiko (spicy version)
- 1/3 Cup milk (I used whole milk)
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp butter
- Cut nori (dried seaweed) – optional
- Cook the pasta in plenty of salted water – keep it al dente, and reserve some pasta water
- While the pasta is cooking, mix the tarako, milk and soy sauce in a small bowl
- When the pasta is ready, drain and toss with butter
- Mix the tarako sauce into the pasta, add pasta water (1/2 Cup or more, to desired consistency)
- Sprinkle with cut nori and enjoy!!
I know it’s only 10am, but I am already looking forward to my lunch … leftovers!