Sea Urchin(Uni) Carbonara
by chef unknown
Perfectly paired with our 2015 hope & grace Dry Riesling, Napa Valley
If you have not purchased the wine to accompany the recipe, click HERE.
4 to 6 ounces fresh sea urchin (uni);
1/3 cup crème fraîche
10 ounces (300g) dried long pasta, such as spaghetti or bucatini
1 tablespoon (15ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 small shallot, finely minced
1/2 cup (125ml) dry sake or dry white wine
1 tsp. Calabrian chili paste for heat, optional Freshly ground black pepper
Small handful finely minced fresh chives, for serving
Caviar, optional for garnish
1. Set aside 4 tongues of sea urchin to use as garnish. Combine remaining sea urchin and creme using a blender or mini chopper. Blend until completely smooth. Set aside.
2. Place pasta in a 12-inch skillet or a saucepan and cover with water. Season with salt. Set over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cook until pasta is just shy of al dente.
3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic and shallot and cook, stirring constantly, until softened, about 2 minutes. For spice, add optional Calabrian chili spread. Add sake or wine and cook until liquid is reduced down to less than 2 tablespoons, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and set aside until pasta is cooked.
4. When pasta is cooked, use tongs to transfer the noodles directly from the boiling water to the pan with the reduction. Scrape uni purée into pan and add a few ounces of pasta-cooking water. Set pan over high heat and cook, stirring and swirling constantly, until the sauce comes together and develops a creamy consistency and the pasta is fully cooked, about 1 minute. Add more pasta water as necessary to thin the sauce if it over-thickens. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
5. Divide pasta between warmed serving bowls, drizzle each portion with more extra-virgin olive oil, garnish each with a whole sea urchin tongue, sprinkle with minced chives, and serve.
Tip: "I like to skip the chili, opt for creamy and serve with a dollop of decadent caviar to finish... superb"