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Tomato Sauce with Bottarga and Anchovies

The seafood umami bomb.

Paolo Licata's collection of Sicilian seaside sauces are an amazing lot. There's sea urchin, shrimp and pistachio pesto, tomato sauce with mazara shrimp, and this tomato sauce, with bottarga and anchovies. For me, each gets a prize for illuminating some part of the seafood experience in a way no other sauce I've had quite does. This sauce wins the prize for umami, the rich full-flavor sensation you get from foods like Parmigiano-Reggiano and barrel aged soy sauce

The reason is the types of seafood he's added. You probably recognize anchovies and I'll assure you southern Sicilian anchovies are fabulous. But you may not recognize bottarga since it's not very common in cooking in America. Bottarga is salted, cured fish roe. It's usually from mullet, often sun dried, and quite common in traditional food cultures throughout the Mediterranean. It's often used as a way to add sea-salt briney rich flavor to a dish—just a bit of bottarga, not much is needed—and here it does that in spades. 

The sauce is dominted in color by tomato, but the flavor is fueled by the sea. Like all of Paolo's sauces, this is powerful so a little goes a long way, makng the expense of such a luxury easier to bear. A few spoonfuls per person is usually enough, so a jar can serve eight. Very limited supplies.

Tomato Sauce with Bottarga and Anchovies

P-TSB 290 g jar
$20
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