Wednesday 28 November 2012

Random Recipe Challenge 22 "Random Birthday Number" - Tagliatelle with caviar

I had to get a riddle on not to miss Dom's challenge again this month.

I did my thing according to the rules. Counted 16 books from the right. "A Little Taste of Italy" far so good. Nothing too obscure or out of date. Nice simple Italian food.  

Then I randomly opened it at page 106, Tagliatelle with Truffles. 

 I looked through the list of ingredients for four people:

135g (5oz butter)
I garlic clove
400g (14oz) fresh tagliatelle
65g (2/3cup)  Parmesan cheese.
I small white Alba truffle or black Norcia truffle

I had everything but the "small white Alba truffle or the black Norcia truffle". I wouldn't even  know where  to begin looking for them and probably couldn't afford one if I did.

But that was ok. I could apply Dom's rule number 4

" - you may adapt the recipe for health/dietary/product availability purposes only"

I think that would apply to me. 

Regular mushrooms would be the obvious substitute. But I'd already used them up with the other part of the fresh packet of tagliatelle. I wanted something a bit more extravagant if it was going to replace black or white truffle.

I stared at the picture for a while, had a good think...

...then I remembered the small jar of caviar hidden away in the food cupboard. Not expensive Beluga or anything like that. I've been stocking up with a few little treats over the last few weeks to keep for the holidays. I found a 100g jar of Icelandic  Black Capelin Caviar in a German store, very reasonably priced and thought I might have a go at making my own blinis at Christmas. Maybe that would do instead.

So I added the pasta to a big saucepan of lightly seasoned boiling water, reduced the heat and cooked it for four minutes until al dente. Meanwhile I heated up the butter and added a clove of garlic. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to leave it whole, the recipe didn't say. I decided to crush it. 

The bubbling golden browning butter smelt amazing.  Whilst it  was cooking I grated the Parmesan cheese. Drained the pasta when cooked and mixed it with the lovely naughty golden garlicky butter, added the cheese and a good twist of black pepper. Then topped it with a big blob of the caviar. 

I served it with  lots of mixed salad leaves and fresh flat leafed parsley. Delicious...

The recipe says that these ingredients are for four people for a starter.  I think that it's enough for lunch or supper for four. 

It's very, very naughty and more-ish.  An amazing treat. I'm not a great butter eater I usually cook with olive oil. At first I thought it was going to be too rich but this was a comforting treat that reminded me of pasta dishes I've eaten in Italy...A very simple recipes with few ingredients and it only takes about four or five minutes to make...Perfect.

As for the caviar...well...not so good...It looked as good as the truffle....but I've been spoilt in the past. A's family would bring us big tins of Beluga from Iran where the wild caviar is collected from the sturgeon that swim freely in the Caspian sea. Where it's prolific and doesn't seem to be in any danger of becoming extinct. It cost hardly anything. Now it's banned...but never mind...we still have happy memories of picnicking on big tinfuls eaten with little crackers and butter on sunny summer afternoons surrounded by extended family...mmm. We were probably drinking Russian vodka with it too...which is maybe why it tasted so good...

...but I'm considering investing in a small bottle of truffle oil...I've never tasted a truffle....maybe that would be good Christmas treat...I'll let you know how I get on... 

I'm linking over to Dom's with other random recipers...

...are you coming for a look too?



  1. funnily enough there was an article on BBC R4 about that 'caviar' and the reviews were not favourable... even so, the simplicity of the dish looks very very tempting and it's a nice simple one for random recipes, which I thank you for entering x

  2. It looks delicious and I think I could easily eat two whole servings :) I am a carb lover deep down inside!

  3. love the4 simplicity of the dish. I actually am noit too big a fan of caviar, I mean I liek it, but can do without it (phew for my pocket eh) but (the few times) when I do have it I like it in a simple combination, like what you did here. yum!

  4. Oooh - posh pasta! Looks very pretty!

  5. My kiddos love something similar to this. Well, without the caviar.