Spaghettini alla Chitarra with Bottarga

TOTAL TIME: 40 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 20 min
YIELD: 4 servings
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

SPAGHETTI:
  • 1/4 cup basic tomato sauce, recipe follows
  • 1 pound spaghettini (reserve 1 cup cooking liquid)
  • Bottarga, for grating
  • 1/4 cup toasted bread crumbs
  • Pinch chili flakes
BASIC TOMATO SAUCE:
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, 1/4-inch dice
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1/2 medium carrot, finely grated
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved
  • Salt
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Directions

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt.

In a cold 12 to 14-inch saute pan, combine the olive oil, chile, and garlic and slowly sweat over medium heat until the garlic is soft, about 3 minutes. Add the sun-dried tomato, parsley, tomato sauce and 1 cup pasta cooking liquid and bring to a simmer.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions, until tender yet al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain the pasta and add it to the tomato mixture. Toss over high heat for 1 minute. Divide the pasta evenly among 4 heated bowls. Grate bottarga over each bowl like a dusting of cheese, sprinkle with bread crumbs, and serve immediately with a sprinkling of chili flakes and a drizzle of olive oil.
In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt and serve. This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.

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