As of yesterday, this website is officially 3 years old! I usually ‘celebrate’ by posting a somewhat luxurious recipe around this time each year, but I think last year I kind of forgot since there wasn’t much to celebrate due to the start of global lockdowns and the pandemic. And now, a year later almost exactly, there still isn’t that much to celebrate, I guess. However, I do think we all deserve to treat ourselves a little – it’s been a rough year – and what better way to treat yourself than to add some booze to a relatively simple pasta dish and to cover it all with some generous gratings of golden cured fish roe?
This spaghetti with whiskey cream sauce and bottarga combines both the comfort of carbs and cream with the luxury of whiskey (or bourbon) and brightly coloured, briny bottarga (or in my case: avgotaraho which is basically the Greek version of this fishy delicacy). In essence, it’s all of my favourite things combined into one dish and I think we all deserve it.
Of course, don’t use your best whiskey for cooking a dish like this, a regular whiskey or bourbon will do just fine as the flavour is quite mild after cooking …and you can just have some of that good stuff afterwards. Cheers!
Tip: not a fan of whiskey? This recipe works with a dry white wine as well.
Spaghetti with Whiskey Cream Sauce and Bottarga
- 320g dried spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed or finely minced
- 120ml whiskey or bourbon (Jack Daniel’s works too for a slightly sweeter taste), or more to taste
- 150ml whipping cream
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Bottarga / Avgotaraho (about 10 - 15g per person)
- Bring a pot of generously salted water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook al dente according to instructions on packaging. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and reserve about 120ml (about half a cup) of cooking liquid.
- Meanwhile, while your pasta is cooking, place a high rimmed frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and crushed garlic and sauté for half a minute until fragrant.
- Pour in the whiskey and allow to simmer for 3 - 4 minutes, or until about half of it has evaporated/reduced.
- Pour in the whipping cream and allow to heat up, but not to start bubbling. You don’t want the cream to thicken, or reduce too much. Remove from heat and add freshly cracked black pepper to taste. If the whiskey taste is not strong enough to your liking, you can add a splash more before adding in the hot pasta.
- Make sure your pasta is cooked around the same time as your sauce, then transfer hot cooked pasta to the pan with the cream sauce. Stir to combine and add (some of the) reserved cooking liquid. You want to create a smooth silky coating around the pasta, rather than a thick and very creamy sauce.
- Divide over plates and grate over the bottarga / avgotaraho. If it the bottarga/avgotaraho has a waxy outer layer, of course, peel this off before grating. Serve immediately.