This pasta dish is simple and delicious. You’ll often find it on menus in southern Italy, where urchin is known as ricci di mare.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large eschalots, finely chopped
160g sea urchin
100ml white wine
250g good quality dried egg fettucine
½ cup firmly packed chervil, chopped
Salt flakes to tast
Heat the olive oil over medium heat and fry the eschalot until lightly golden and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add wine and evaporate half the liquid off.
Reduce the heat to low, add the urchin and stir gently until it breaks down slightly and a creamy
sauce is created.
Meanwhile cook the fettucine in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente.
When the pasta is done, drain, retaining ½ cup of cooking water, and add the pasta to the frying pan with the sauce. Add a splash of pasta cooking water to loosen, adding more water as necessary, until the desired consistency is reached, and then add the chervil. Adjust the salt to taste.
Divide into four bowls and garnish with a little more chervil and a disk of sea urchin butter, if desired, which will melt through the pasta.
Serve immediately, with a radicchio or seaweed salad.
Don’t break up the roe completely when you are stirring the sauce. It’s nice to get occasional nuggets of urchin roe with a bite of pasta.