Recipe courtesy of Jacques Pepin

Fusilli with Poutargue

Poutargue or boutarge in French, botargo in Italian, and tarama in Greek is a caviar made from the salted and dried roe of gray mullet and also tuna. In my opinion, the mullet is much better than the tuna and is the only one I use. The last poutargue I bought was at the airport in Nice, and it came vacuum-packed. The roe, packed in their own skin, have a concentrated taste and are fairly expensive. Some, from Yugoslavia, come packed in red wax, like cheese from Holland, and as a result it is sometimes called "red caviar." When removed from the wax shell, it is ready to be used. The recipe below is quite good when made with the anchovy sauce and breadcrumbs minus the poutargue, if unavailable. Yet, it is a special treat and a great taste, if you can get it.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 31 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 11 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
Share This Recipe



  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil for cooking the pasta. Meanwhile, for the sauce, pour the oil from a 2-ounce can of anchovy fillets into a large glass bowl. Chop the anchovies coarsely. Cook's Note: you should have about 2 tablespoons. Add the chopped anchovy to the oil in the bowl and an additional 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1 tablespoon chopped garlic, and 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives. Cook's Note: You will need half a 6-ounce package or 3 ounces. Take one roe of poutargue and using a vegetable peeler, peel off a dozen or so shavings from the roe to decorate the top of your pasta, and grate the remaining roe through the big holes of a box grater. Set this aside for mixing with the pasta. Salt the water in the pot, drop 12 ounces fusilli into the boiling water, mix, and cook according to the directions on the package or your own tastes. Cook's Note: I like mine cooked for about 10 minutes, until it just slightly al dente. Meanwhile, saute 1 cup of 1/4-inch bread pieces in 2 tablespoons of olive oil with a dash each salt and pepper in a skillet until brown and crispy. Set aside. When the pasta is nearly cooked, place the bowl containing the anchovies into a microwave for about 1 minute to warm it and cook the garlic a little. Reserve about 1/3 cup of the pasta water, and add it to the hot anchovy-garlic mixture. Drain the pasta well, and add it to the bowl along with some salt and pepper and the grated poutargue. Toss carefully, and divide among 4 very hot plates. Sprinkle with the shavings of poutargue, and serve immediately. Garnish at the table with grated Parmesan or Gruyere cheese.

Fudge Factor

Chocolate Desserts

Indulge in our decadent chocolate desserts, from cookies and cakes to puddings, souffles and truffles.

Over-the-Top-Delicious Treats to Satisfy Your Food Obsession

Are you infatuated with ice cream? Do you lust over lobster? Swoon at the sight of chocolate? Here's the best recipe for each food …

Easy Gift Idea: Chocolate-Covered Toffee Feb 7, 2013

Looking for an easy gift idea? Cooking Channel's recipe for Chocolate-Covered Toffee is just the ticket. A touch of coffee in the …

How-To: Chocolate Cream Puffs

Make this classic and elegant French dessert using our step-by-step guide.

Review: Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert's Chocolate Bar Nov 16, 2012

Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert have teamed up with master chocolatier Christopher Curtin to create the "Good & Evil" chocolate b …

Essentials: Chocolate Basics Sep 1, 2016

Satisfy that chocolate craving in your very own kitchen. All you need is baking chocolate and a little know-how. It also helps to …

How to Make Truffles

Learn how to make a chocolate lover's favorite treat: the classic truffle made from smooth chocolate ganache.

Nostalgic, Old-Fashioned and Retro Candy and Candy Bars

Take a sweet trip down memory lane by ogling these old-school candy bars and confections.