How To Cook With Bottarga In Pasta, Salad And Toast

A little bit of bottarga goes a very long way

"Dried mullet egg sac" doesn't have a great ring to it.

So those ingenious Italians gave it a nicer name that's great to say (bottarga! bottarga!) and even greater to grate all over your eggs and pasta and anything that could use a hit of sweet umami candy.

Bottarga is like a truffle in that just a few shavings of the intergalactic orange salty stuff transform whatever they touch.

Try it on our celery salad dressed in lemon and fruity olive oil (see the recipe), and see why a 5-ounce lump ($73) is worth the investment. It's exquisite, and a little goes a long way.

We used a Microplane (a sharp peeler works, too) to shave some over soft-boiled six-minute eggs. Up next: grilled asparagus and broccolini. And it does wonders on oil- and garlic-rubbed crostini. Try it over the pasta of your choice, tossed with some red pepper flakes, lemon zest and a good olive oil.

Store bottarga in the fridge, tightly wrapped in plastic, and it'll keep for a year. But we're pretty sure you'll find so many uses for the stuff it won't last that long.