I LOVE UNI.
Love it. Can drink it with a straw. I know it really freaks some people out, but honestly NOMNOMNOM to Uni.
Jack and I hae been talking about making this dish ever since we saw Anthony Bourdain eat it on No Reservations in the Food Porn episode. Sexy Eric Ripert, Chef extraordinaire of Le Bernadin created this dish that actually isn't on the menu and apparently costs a fortune.
Since that day, Jack and I swore that we would find Uni and make an uni pasta. A few weeks back, we dined at Marea, a phenomenal seafood restaurant in Manhattan helmed by Chef Michael White, who also had a sea urchin pasta. It may be the single best plate of pasta I have ever eaten.
The next day, we were online looking for Sea Urchin. Luckily, Citerally, the supermarket around the corner from our apartment, sold it. In we went, and man, did we give those fishmongers (love that word) a run for their money. We had NO IDEA what actually was in those spiny little shells. They told us "Four or five strips of uni." OK, but what's a strip? How much does it weigh. We were informed that each only weight about 1/2 an ounce.
So we bought 20. Wiped them clean. That's how we do it.
I was so excited to open up the pretty box they put them in to find this.
I was tempted to eat it straight, but I refrained. Jack found a video in Italian of a woman making Uni pasta, so I just followed her directions. Saute lots of garlic, add parsley, add uni, serve.
Done and done.
The sauce was rich and creamy and delicious. We topped it with some grilled jumbo shrimp (I wish I could call them prawns. It sounds so much more elegant.) and enjoyed our pasta.
I must say, though, that I smacked my head and realized how much of an idiot I am, because I have the Le Bernadin cookbook with the recipe for Eric Ripert's Sea Urchin pasta.
Looks like it's back to the store to wipe them out of urchin once again.
Sea Urchin Pasta with Grilled Shrimp
- 2 tablespoons shallots, minced (about 2)
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup of dry white wine
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 4 ounces sea urchin (12 to 18 whole urchins)
- 1/2 cup butter, cut into chunks
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 pound large shrimp
- 1 box bucatini (or other thick pasta)
Set water in a pot over medium high heat to boil. Sprinkle water with salt. When boiling, cook the pasta to al dente (follow cooking time recommendation on package)
In a 9-inch saute pan over medium-high heat sweat shallots, garlic, hot pepper and oregano in the olive oil. About 2 minutes, until limp. Add wine and chicken stock, reduce this by half. Add sea urchin, cooking for 30 seconds. Whisk in butter, chunk at a time, breaking up urchins as you mix. Add parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Add lobster at the last minute. Toss in sauce, and the pour over bucatini. Toss with spaghetti.