City Harvest is an organization dedicated to rescuing and “re-homing” food around New York City where it’s needed most. Longtime New York Times food writer and cookbook author Florence Fabricant compiled 100 recipes from some of the city’s most beloved chefs and added their (and her) tips for eliminating food waste at home. A portion of the proceeds from the book goes to City Harvest, so pick one up and start cooking right!
Having been named to run the new restaurant in the Brooklyn Museum, Saul Bolton closed his popular flagship on Smith Street in Cobble Hill. He now gives museumgoers and others a taste of serious food in a cultural setting, a trend that is playing out all over the city. This recipe for “riches of the sea,” featuring sea urchins and butter, yields a dish that’s as rich as can be — and a shot of chili muscles in, too. Consider this a special-occasion dish, serving a small portion for each guest to start an intimate dinner party. It takes no more than 20 minutes, start to finish, so it’s important to have all your ingredients ready.
Cook’s Notes: Japanese markets and some specialty fish markets sell uni, bright orange and usually called the roe of the sea urchin. Actually, it’s the gonads. It is also available online. Bucatini is thick, hollow spaghetti. Linguine can be substituted.
Second Helpings: Any leftover uni can be saved to serve on toast as an hors d’oeuvre.
- 12 ounces bucatini
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 large cloves garlic, sliced paper-thin
- pinch of red chili flakes
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 1 tray (about 9 ounces) uni
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 20 basil leaves, torn
- 5 pickled Italian hot peppers, preferably long red ones, cut in julienne
For the bucatini
Place a pot of salted water over high heat for the pasta. Add the pasta when it comes to a boil.
Meanwhile, heat the oil on medium in a large sauté pan. Add the garlic and chili flakes and cook until the garlic starts to brown. Add the wine, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook until it’s reduced by half. Lower the heat.
Mash all but 2 tablespoons of the uni in a dish and add it to the pan along with the butter. Keep mashing the uni and butter with a fork so they become creamy. Stir in 1⁄2 cup of the pasta water. By this time, the pasta should be al dente. Drain it, reserving a little more of the water, and add it to the pan with the uni. Add the lemon juice, basil, and hot peppers. Season to taste with salt. Add the reserved pasta water if needed.
Divide the mixture among soup plates and top each with a few pieces of the reserved uni. Serve at once.