I had been hearing a lot about colatura, and I was dying to try it. I picked up a little bottle at Zingerman's, and dashed it over pasta. Delicious! It does indeed have a fishy smell, but when you spread a tablespoon or two through a whole batch of pasta it just gives it an elusive savory, briny flavor, which complements summer basil and tomatoes, or simple garlic, in a beautifully wild and addictive set of flavors. I am hoarding the rest of the bottle, saving it for the best pastas and simple dinners at home.
Obviously this isn't a vegetarian product, but if you are simply trying to eat less meat, or use meat more for flavor than for substance, this would be a fantastic addition to your cupboard.
Its rather shocking price, though, has made me wonder about using just straight up fish sauce in pasta. Anyone tried this?
• Read more: Essence of Anchovy From the Amalfi Coast, by Melissa Clark - An excellent introduction to garum and its modern equivalent.
• Find it: Garum Colatura, $17 at Zingerman's
Related: Ingredient Spotlight: Fish Sauce
(Images: Faith Durand)