The Inspiration for the Torched Uni King Crab Tagliatelle
This weekend I had an interesting dinner at The NoMad Restaurant in Flatiron. I was really impressed by their signature roasted chicken for two and tagliatelle which had king crab, meyer lemon, and black pepper. The tagliatelle was amazing but $28, I wanted to see if I could create a similar dish for less at home, so I went to Eataly which was a short walk from the restaurant, to buy the ingredients.
Eataly is one of my favorite places to shop in New York. They have many organic vegetables that are not readily available at other grocery stores, the largest selection of fresh pasta, and best dessert counter. The only downside it is one of the pricier places to shop. When I do go I usually: 1) pick up my favorite crème al cacao dessert 2) eat the fresh pistachio cannoli, which are my favorite in New York 3) pick up some fresh pasta, you can’t go wrong with their veal ravioli and tortellini 4) eat lasagna at their in house restaurant, one of my favorite lasagnas in NY, the other being at Café Fiorello on the UWS.
I was able to easily find fresh tagliatelle, they had normal and squid ink, I usually opt for squid ink whenever it is available. The seafood counter had already steamed Alaskan King crab legs, and I noticed they had Santa Barbara uni that day so I had to pick that up. There are a few options for fresh uni in NY- When I want to eat uni I usually get it from Dainobu for $10 for one tray. The $5 one at HMart is not that tasty. I spoiled myself with the Santa Barbara from Eataly which was over $20 (there goes my plan of recreating the NoMad dish cheaply…) The most expensive I have seen is at the Lobster Place for over $60. I wasn’t sure if I would use the uni in the pasta or eat it separately, but it was a perfect accompaniment to the pasta once it was torched. Torching the uni was actually not my idea, but the idea of a food lover who I have learned a lot from over the years. The torch I have is a crème brulee torch from Williams Sonoma that was purchased originally to char pork (a la Totto Ramen style) and Japanese beef at home, but came in surprisingly handy for uni as well.
The tagliatelle at the NoMad which inspired this entire meal and amazing roasted chicken for two
Mise en place
Warming the crab in the lemon zest, olive oil, and butter mixture
Torching the uni over the pasta
Video of the Recipe
Video of shopping for ingredients at Eataly
Recipe for Torched Uni and King Crab Tagliatelle. Inpired by the Tagliatelle at the NoMad restaurant in New York.
- 4 garlic cloves, diced finely
- 1 meyer lemon, zested and wedged
- ½ bunch of chives, chopped finely
- 1 cooked king crab leg
- cracked pepper
- 1/8 stick of butter
- 3 Tbsp good olive oil
- 1 lb fresh tagliatelle
- 3/4 C grated parmesan
- 1 package uni
- Finely mince 4 garlic cloves. Zest the meyer lemon and cut into wedges. Finely chop the chives.
- Remove the meat from the king crab leg, chop into large 2 inch pieces, and set aside
- Start boiling the water for the tagliatelle, once the water starts boil and the pasta is added you can start making the sauce, because the sauce only takes a few minutes
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a saucepan or wok. Add the lemon zest, few lemon wedges, and garlic; stir fry quickly to avoid burning the garlic just until the garlic is a golden brown. Turn the heat off and toss in the king crab leg just enough to heat through, season with salt and pepper. Remove the crab from the pan and set aside.
- Once the pasta is al dente, add the pasta to the olive oil, butter, zest mixture with 5-10 tbsp of the pasta water. Stir in the grated parmesan and toss to coat, if the pasta is not glistening in the sauce, add some more pasta water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You can also squeeze the juice of a reserved lemon wedge at this point if you like really lemony pasta.
- Leave the pasta in the pan and sprinkle with the chives. Place uni on top of the center of the pan and arrange the crab around it. Torch the uni until it is lightly toasted (about 10-20 seconds).
You can either squeeze more lemon at the end or skip that step if you do not like too much lemon flavor. Make sure to use meyer lemon instead of regular lemons as this is a key ingredient for this dish.