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Dec 28, 1999 11:21 AM

Italian food newsgroup (in Italian)

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Again a reminder to those reading Italian that the recipes posted on it.hobby.cucina have been amazing. Today someone requested a recipe for Artichoke ravioli with bottarga, a dish from Alghero, Sardinia. Such cooking doesn't exist here outside of homes. Can't wait for a reply. . .

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  1. Alan, the very title of the dish you're describing brings back memories of the many wonderful meals I've eaten in Italian homes.

    I don't think of Italy as a chowhounding country as much as I do a country of home cooks. Some of the most frustrating food moments I've ever had in my life have been when I've been gazing on the foods in a great Italian market with no place to cook them.

    BTW...bottarga is easier to find in NYC than in many parts of Italy. The wonderful grocery in the Chelsea market has it.

    Make this dish and tell us how it goes!

    I have added a link to a page with a good collection of recipies in both Italian and English for those who want to get their feet wet.



    7 Replies
    1. re: Brian Yarvin

      Thanks for the link. We noticed that the bottarga at Balducci's is fresher and less expensive than the Chelsea Market shop (they once had sheep milk ricotta freshly flown in from Rome which was shockingly delicious. With all the sheep and cows in this country it's a shame we can't have anything nearly as good). I'll translate and post the recipe when it hits.

      1. re: Allan Evans


        Oh good grief! I don't even know what bottarga is!

        I read about it in an English language cookbook when I was staying in Cuneo (in the far north of Italy) and couldn't find it there.

        In Cuneo, foods from other parts of Italy are shelved with things like Cous Cous and Thai Fish Sauce. Hot peppers from the Amalfi Coast are considered to be as foreign as Sushi.

        When I returned to NYC, I spotted it in the Chelsea Market, but never bothered to buy it/learn about it. The cusine of the Cuneo reigon was enough for me to deal with!

        I agree with your comments about cheeses. The situation is shameful. Farmers here are complaining that they can't sell their milk, when in fact, they could be making cheese for the two of us.

        I'll end this post with a link to Egg Farm Dairy, my favorite cheese shop in the NY area - don't forget to read other raves about it on the Chowhound boards.


        1. re: Brian Yarvin

          Bottarga is fish roe (usually red mullet, or sometime tuna) which is dried in its skin. The best use is to grate it over pasta which has been dressed with olive oil and chopped fresh parsley. (Don't forget to peel off the skin over the area you are grating).It has a salty, subtle flavor. The procedure must be ages old, and it is from Sardinia and Sicily. A shop in Roma, Billo, has quite a good selection. They are in a back alley behind the via Portico d'Ottavia, the Jewish Ghetto's main drag. Spring for a piece and try it on Spaghetti or Bucatini.

          1. re: Allan Evans

            Thanks for the tip. I have been able to cook in Rome several times and have also made the trip from Rome to Cuneo a few times.

            Now where do you get good rabbit in NYC for that French rabbit recipe.

            1. re: Brian Yarvin

              Ottomanelli has OK rabbit. I would try the Greenmarket on Union Square or D'Artagnan (they may have a website). Usually the rabbits are from far away and fatty (signs of growth hormones?). Keep trying though.

              1. re: Allan Evans
                Russell Drecque

                Hey Allan,
                I wouldn't advise D'artagnan: did you see in todays Times that they are recalling tons of pates, confits...?
                Better wait for the storm to blow over pal, and stick to the other places you mention.

                1. re: Allan Evans

                  Sorry, I'm not a big fan of Ottomanelli, in fact, you can get rabbits that are just as good at the Hong Kong Supermarket chain for far less money.

                  In fact, the Hong Kong Supermarkets have pretty good meat at very reasonable prices. Look for the "fresh killed" chicken too. I think these are really good.

                  Don't forget to show the head and guts to any pre-teens who happen to be helping you cook.

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