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January 19th, 2011Fine Dining at Homeeataduckimust 18 Comments

Aaand we’re back… (ish).  Though the nights have been a little sleepless, we mustered the energy to produce this delectable restaurant recreation.  A few weeks before baby made his appearance, we checked out Davanti Enoteca, one of the newest arrivals in Little Italy on Taylor.  In a few words it’s tapas meets Italian cuisine.  And now it’s become one of our new favorite affordable date night haunts.  All of the dishes were solid and to our delight very reasonably priced.  A jar full of savory chicken liver pate with crusty grilled french bread for $5.00?  It’s probably the best gourmet deal in town!  Did I not mention that it was affordable?!

One dish in particular stood out in our minds- Riccio di Mare e Granchio (linguine + sea urchin + crab).  Uni in pasta?  We realize this isn’t a new concept, but we’ve certainly never had it before.  After that meal, we see we’ve been missing out on it all this time!  Uni is the perfect delicate base for a seafood pasta.  It was our favorite dish of the night and of course Jared couldn’t help but want to recreate this at home.

why hello there delicious uni (sea urchin)

Normally we try to enjoy a block of uni like this slowly with sushi because well, uni is not cheap.  I held my breath a little when Jared tossed most of it into his sauce, but we soon reaped the benefits of said gluttonous uni-tossing.  The key to using uni in a sauce is to be careful not to mask the delicate flavor of the uni.  Jared dialed back on all the other flavors in order to guarantee that the uni flavor came through. I mean, you did just dump all that precious uni in the sauce, you better be able to taste it!  And this time instead of crab, Jared added a generous serving of perfectly seared scallops.

uni pasta

Ingredients
4 20/30 size scallops
1 package fresh uni (sea urchin)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 clove garlic
Chives
2 egg yolks
grated parmesan cheese
Fettuccine Pasta

Recipe

  • Warm up the cream and 1 smashed clove of garlic in a sauce pan, do not let it boil
  • Simmer for 10 mins or until cream has thicken
  • Remove the cream from heat and reserve a little for the egg yolk. Add 3/4 of the block of uni into the sauce
  • Using an immersion blender, blend till smooth and strain through a sieve; keep warm
  • Start a pot of salted boiling water for your pasta and cook the pasta until al dente
  • Dry your scallops and season with salt and pepper
  • In a hot pan, sear until a nice crust has formed
  • Strain the pasta and add to a hot pan, then add the uni sauce and cook for a couple more seconds
  • Beat the egg yolks with the reserved cream
  • Remove the hot pan from the stove and slowly pour in the egg mixture while stirring. This will prevent it from turning into scrambled eggs
  • Add a handful of the grated parmesan cheese and stir
  • Season the pasta to taste with salt and pepper
  • Plate the pasta and garnish with the scallops, leftover uni and chopped chives.
  • Tobiko roe can be also added for texture and flavor (though we afterward felt that it wasn’t necessary).  You can also substitute the scallops with lump crab meat as well.

fresh uni and perfectly seared scallops

I can’t say we saved a ton of money by making it at home, but for about the price of one small restaurant dish, the both of had enough pasta to eat to our heart’s content.

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  • Ashley

    Hiiii!! Good to see you on here..now where are the baby photos!? :) LOVE the last photo.

    • Anonymous

      we will probably put up more pictures on our photo site soon.

      • Helene Ponty

        Hi, this dish looks delicious. I was wondering if you had an idea of how much sea urchin is in one package (in grams/pounds/ounces)?

        • Ben uf

          33 usd for 300 gram tray
           

  • Rasa Malaysia

    Hey hey, welcome to “plastering-on-huge-watermark-on-every-food-pic” club. ;)

  • tater

    get the grandparents to babysit the little one and lets go to this enoteca!

  • Jackie

    Y’know, I’m not big on uni, but I’ve heard that uni pasta is really uber delicious. Momma Lee would definitely approve, as she *loves* uni! Maybe I’ll make this for her birthday… that is if I can find fresh enough uni!

    Jax x

  • Midge

    How many people does this recipe serve? Looks delicious!!

  • http://lostpastremembered.blogspot.com/ deana @lostpastremembered

    I love sea urchin and always check on new ways to prepare it. It is so luxurious with cream in a pasta sauce… and your pictures are divine! Great to find your blog.

  • http://twitter.com/sippitysup sippitysup

    Gorgeous photos, bold flavors. What’s not to like? GREG

  • http://twitter.com/sippitysup sippitysup

    Beautiful photos. Bold flavors, what’s not to like! GREG

  • James L

    Dang, that looks amazing. Think I am gonna give this a try over the weekend.

    • Anonymous

      let’s have it at our next company party, but only if they fly me out for it!

  • HaveSporkWillTravel

    Swoon!!! :) Amazing again guys. I’ve always wanted to do an uni pasta! Thanks for the recipe. I found an Uni-broth recipe in Saveur a little while back (Chef’s Issue), but I haven’t had a chance to try it. I’ve got a fish/sushi supplier nearby that has great uni for a good price (box = $9 or $8, depending on what they feel like that day). I’ve got to give this a try next time, instead of just stuffing it in my face :) .

  • ChubbyChineseGirl

    Ohhhh I love uni pasta!!! great post and amazing pictures! thanks for sharing

  • Jamiemc106

    haha … I’ve been looking for ways to prepare it. I scuba dive here in Florida and the damn things are everywhere. You have to be careful where you put your hands. Looking to get some next time i go down :)

  • http://daisyt13.wordpress.com/ Daisyt13

    OMG!  I had crab uni spaghetti at a local restaurant here in Southern California last night and had to Google to see if there was a recipe for me to try.  This looks amazing!  Thank you for sharing.  I am going to adapt this and hopefully it will turn out well enough to post on my blog, with proper credit and link to you, of course.

    daisy

  • Uni fanatic

    How large is the package of uni used in this recipe – or what is the measurement of the amount of uni used? The picture shown appears larger than the size I generally see at the Japanese Market. Thanks!