Leave it to the southern Italian to make use of the best parts of fish, and they will succeed.
Bottarga is one such product that renders pasta delicious and unique.
This Sardinian specialty is mullet roe that is salted, rinsed, sun-dried and pressed. The classic way to serve it is grated, and blended with olive oil and garlic. The mixture is then tossed with spaghetti. Some chefs prefer to use it as an appetizer.
Millet is a prized small Mediterranean, buttery-textured fish if properly pan-fried by an experienced cook.
Each millet yields a very small amount of roe, and combined with the amount of labour involved in the preparation of bottarga the price is $ 300.00 (2013) a kilogram. However, since a little goes a long way to provide gustatory pleasure, it is worth it.
Small quantities are exported to both the U S A and Canada and available from specialized Italian high-end grocery stores.
Beware of imitations, that are much less expensive but have no flavour to speak of.