How To Make The Best Creamy Uni Pasta (Sea Urchin Pasta)?
Uni Pasta is a nutritious dish with a creamy twist based on the traditional cacio e pepe. Uni pasta recipe is completed based on the main ingredients are cheese noodles, butter sea urchin and salty nori strips. All these ingredients combine to create a delicious and nutritious seafood noodle dish. So do not ignore the necessary information to add a delicious dish to the menu for the family every day.
1. What does uni pasta taste like?
This uni pasta dish is inspired by a refreshing variation of cacio e pepe, Cacio e Pepe with Burrata. Uni cacio e pepe is a dish that adds sea urchin in a creamy sauce and per serving. Uni pasta has a custard-like texture and has a mild sweet-salty taste. In Japanese cuisine, this delicacy is often enjoyed as sushi nigiri and sashimi. Or you can serve it as sea urchin ceviche in the way of Peruvian - Japanese.
There are different varieties of uni, which vary widely depending on where the uni is harvested. Some of the most common types of sea urchin include: uni, bafun uni, ensui uni and murasaki uni. Inside the sea urchin's spiky interior are five tongue-shaped edible uni bands.
The dish has a mixture of salty and sweet flavors
Read more: What is sea urchin? What does it taste like?
2.1 What you need
- Uni - Rich ocean flavors and creamy textures go well with traditional cacio e pepe.
- Creme fraiche: This ingredient mixed with uni adds richness and accentuates the uni flavor. This is a thick, rich cream, similar to sour cream, but less sour.
- Pasta: Pasta is essential to cacio e pepe, it's best when eaten with long, thin noodles. Cheese sauce easily coats noodles, such as spaghetti or bucatini.
- Parmigiano-Reggiano: Made from unpasteurized cow's milk. It has a unique umami flavor and combines with pasta water to make the sauce creamy.
- Pecorino Romano: This is a hard cheese made from sheep's milk, which gives it a distinctive flavor. Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino cheeses give cacio e pepe its signature rich flavor. These two cheeses are often used interchangeably but are made from two types of milk and have distinct flavors.
- Freshly ground black pepper: Black pepper adds a distinctive spice to pasta dishes.
- Kosher salt: This ingredient will add flavor to the noodle broth.
- Pasta water: An important ingredient, necessary for this noodle recipe. Pasta juice is starchy and creates a creamy sauce when mixed with cheese, which is why the traditional cacio e pepe doesn't need butter.
- Butter: While traditional cacio e pepe doesn't require butter, it makes it easy to achieve the creamy consistency of traditional cacio e pepe.
Optional for garnish
- Ikura (fish roe)
- Roasted nori
- Yield: 5
- Prep time: 15 minutes
- Cook time: 1 hour
- Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Pasta with uni is a dish that, to be completed, requires the use of common kitchen utensils. To make this sauce first, you will need a food processor, cheese grater, tongs, measuring cup, non-stick pan, and medium pot or oven. In case the family table does not have a food processor, you can also use a blender instead. Then add the creme fraiche and uni in the blender and blend until creamy.
You may have to turn off the blender, remove the lid, and use a spatula or silicone baking spatula to scrape the sides and push the cream back onto the blades again. To easily get all the sauce out of the blender, use a small baking silicone spatula to scrape the cream from the sides of the blender walls.
3. How to make uni pasta?
Make the creme fraîche
To make it, you'll first need to put 6 tablespoons of the creme fraiche and 6 uni pieces in a food processor. Then blend them until everything is smooth, creamy and set aside.
To cook pasta you need to boil 3 liters of water in a large pot and season with kosher salt. Then start cooking the pasta for 6-7 minutes, or about a minute before cooking. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain the rest and set aside the distillation tube.
Prepare the pan and add the pasta
In the 3rd step, we need to heat the olive oil over medium heat in a non-stick pan or wok. Then mix in the pepper and cook until toasted and fragrant, about 1 minute. Then, add ½ cup of the reserved noodle water to the pan. When the water boils, add the pasta and swirl in the pasta pepper water with rubber tongs.
Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano
At this step we need to reduce the heat to low and put the butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano in the pan. Use tongs to stir the butter and cheese in a circular motion to coat the noodles.
Add the Pecorino Romano and uni crème fraîche
Then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Pecorino Romano and uni crème fraîche mixture. Use tongs to toss the noodles until the cheese is melted and the noodles are evenly coated. If the pasta is dry, stir in more pasta water a tablespoon at a time until it reaches a thick consistency.
Serving and Garnishing
Finally, transfer the pasta to a plate or bowl and scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula to extract the starchy sauce. Drizzle starchy sauce over each serving, 2 pieces of uni, strips of nori and add black pepper to taste.
Serve immediately and enjoy! This dish is both delicious and healthy because sea urchin provides a lot of healthy nutrients.
4. Substitutions for uni pasta ingredients
- Burrata: With a uni-like flavor, burrata is a replaceable ingredient and is also creamy and delicious. It is common to replace uni with burrata if someone doesn't like the ocean flavor of uni, but still wants to add cream in cacio e pepe.
- Tonnarelli: People can completely substitute tonnarelli for spaghetti if they prefer thicker pasta. Tonnarelli is also known as spaghetti alla chitarra. This ingredient is considered great because it has a rough surface and texture that helps keep the sauce well.
- Bucatini: Instead of using traditional mein noodles, use bucatini noodles. Bucatini is a spaghetti-like noodle with a hole in the middle, which helps to catch the sauce well and give it a fresher flavor.
- Gluten-Free Pasta: You can choose to use gluten-free pasta if your body is gluten intolerant. We only recommend Garofalo Gluten-Free Spaghetti, which tastes like traditional wheat pasta.
- Homemade pasta: Use your own home-made pasta from the start instead of choosing store-bought pasta.
5. Creative variations of pasta with uni
- Spicy: Add a lot of black pepper or crushed chili while cooking to absorb the heat, creating a spicy flavor when eaten.
- Extra Cream: Add more Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino cheese to make the dish more creamy.
- Garlic: If you want a little more garlic, cut a clove of garlic in half and put it in the pan as you add the pasta water. When the water boils, remove the garlic from the pan and follow the rest of the steps. This will add a bit of garlic flavor to the pasta water.
- Risotto: Instead of pasta, make risotto and mix it with single cream. Risotto takes longer to cook, so you will need to adjust the cooking time for the dish. Refrigerate the single cream mixture or make ice cream when the risotto is cooked and raw. This will help avoid damage.
- Grilled Scallops: For a richer dish, add chopped scallops on top or next to the finished noodle dish.
Watch more detailed recipe on how to make sea urchin pasta at home!
6. How to store leftover uni pasta?
To have the best taste of uni pasta after processing, quickly enjoy the dish immediately. However, if the amount of food is so large that you have leftovers, choose to store them in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to a day.
After a day in the fridge, if you want to reheat leftovers, heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the leftover noodles and use tongs to gently separate the noodles in the pan to cook. Cover the pan with a lid and let the pan reheat for about 2-3 minutes.
Store in the fridge and re-cook with water if using tomorrow
On it is all the important information related to uni pasta and what to prepare when making this dish. Before starting to cook, everyone should also prepare all ingredients and tools to make it easier to prepare. Hopefully with the above sharing, everyone will get the most useful knowledge and have a delicious meal for the family's daily menu.
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