Tarako Spaghetti

  • Serves

    serves 4-6


Salted pollock roe, called tarako, lends pungent flavor to this riff on a Japanese spaghetti dish from Hudson Valley, New York–based home cook Howie Michels. This recipe first appeared in our May 2014 issue with the story When Dinner Becomes A Diary.


  • 12 cup olive oil
  • 1 (5") piece baguette, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 14 cup pine nuts
  • 1 small leek, white part only, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • 14 cup Morita tsuyu tennen (Japanese seasoning sauce)
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 5 oz. tarako (Japanese salted pollock roe), thin skin removed


Step 1

Heat half the oil in a 12" skillet over medium heat; cook baguette and pine nuts, stirring occasionally, until golden and slightly crisp, 4–5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Using hands, crush slightly; set aside.

Step 2

Add remaining oil to skillet; heat over medium-high. Cook leek and onion until slightly caramelized, 7–9 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, about 10 minutes; drain and add to skillet. Add seasoning sauce, lemon juice, and half the roe; toss to combine. Divide pasta between 4 bowls; top with crushed bread mixture and remaining roe.

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