Granted, the hardest thing about this black tie pasta dish is paying for the caviar, but doing so is well worth it. When I serve this, my happy guests literally wipe their bowls clean.
If you can, having a little extra caviar for guests to sprinkle on top like Parmesan cheese is always a crowd pleaser.–Katherine Alford
LC BLACK TIE PASTA AND BUBBLY NOTE
It goes without saying what we pour alongside this sassy, classy little number. Only a proper French Champagne–okay, or maybe a slightly less-expensive sparkling wine, given the situation with the economy–will do. (Do yourself a favor and tuck that bottle of slightly sweet Prosecco or rather mineral-y cava for another occasion. You want something with sufficient sturdiness, something that can stand up to the richness of this dish and its caviar.)
Bow Tie Pasta with Caviar
- 2 cups very small cauliflower florets (each about 1/2 inch [12 mm] wide)
- 8 ounces bow-tie pasta
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup crême fraîche at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons minced chives
- 2 to 3 ounces Sevruga caviar
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a medium saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the cauliflower until tender but firm, about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until just al dente, about 10 minutes. Drop the cauliflower into the pot with the pasta and cook until heated through, about 30 seconds. Drain the pasta and cauliflower, leaving a little of the cooking water clinging to the pasta.
- Transfer the pasta mixture to a large bowl. Toss the pasta and cauliflower thoroughly with the crème fraîche and chives. Add the caviar and pepper and toss lightly.
- Divide the pasta among 4 warmed shallow bowls and serve immediately. Pass more caviar, if you have it and can part with it.
Originally published September 27, 2001