Sea urchins are a real treat in Malta and across the world. Although I wasn’t used to seeing sea urchins in Australia, when I went fishing with my father I would always collect limpets for my grand mother, who just loved them.
Sea urchins or rizzi as they know them in Malta are often eaten in pasta which is what I decided to make. They also eat them whole and fresh from their shell. Another option is to eat them on crusty bread and preferably Maltese bread.
I managed to request these from my local fish monger who purchased them for me. They are opened by tapping the top circumference with a knife and prying open. Each urchin has five pieces of flesh which can then be either eaten whole or used in pasta. These are also used in sushi.
This pasta dish is made quite simply by frying some garlic or onions with good quality olive oil. A tomato is added, along with herbs and lemon juice. This is then tossed with good quality spaghetti or thin pasta. Lastly the urchins are added and quickly mixed in. Good quality olive oil and pasta is the most important thing for this dish. The dish is all about showing off the flavour of the urchins, so nothing else in the dish should be too overpowering.
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- 1 tomato diced
- 1 tablespoon of mint and 1 tablespoon of parsley
- 250 grams spaghetti or any thin pasta
- ½ lemon squeezed
- 50 grams sea urchins which have been removed from their shells.
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Prepare your pasta by boiling a large pot of water.
- Add in the pasta and cook as per instructions.
- While the pasta is cooking in a frying pan fry the garlic with some olive oil for about 15 seconds
- Add in the diced tomato and fry for a few minutes.
- Add in the mint and parsley.
- Turn off the heat.
- Drain the pasta and place back in the pot.
- Add in the tomato mixture and mix.
- Add in the lemon juice, sea urchins and mix well.
- Season with salt and pepper and a little more olive oil.
- Serve immediately