A 'riccio' is a hedgehog in Italian. A 'riccio al mare' is a sea hedgehog or in other words a sea urchin. You'll need 50 of them to prepare the tagliolini pasta with sea urchin dish to satisfy 4 people. It is a dish which can be prepared very quickly and one with a rich, natural sauce. A word of warning, however. It is important to distinguish between the masculine and feminine sea urchins. The former are black and flat while the latter are a rounded with a reddy brown color. As we are eating the eggs of the sea urchin, it is the females we want to get hold of.
Tagliolini ai Ricci di Mare
50 sea urchins, garlic, parsley, peperoncino, 400g of tagliolini, olive oil, salt to taste
Once the urchins have been collected they should be cut open with a pair of scissors, literally cutting the hard shell into two to reach the fleshy bit inside.
With a spoon, the egg of the female urchin should then be scooped out and placed inside a glass container.
When all 50 have been done turn the eggs with the olive oil, parsley and a pinch of salt.
Bring a pot of water to the boil and cook the tagliolini pasta.
To one side heat more olive oil, peperoncino and garlic in a frying pan. Just as the garlic is turning a yellow color the pasta should be ready to drain and be added to the pan.
Toss to cover all the pasta and then turn it out into a serving dish. Add the sea urchins eggs and lightly toss again.
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