Linguini with Caviar

If you ever wanted to enhance a common, nondescript pasta dish, then add caviar to it. It will garner "oohs" and "aahs" at your table. Most people think of caviar as that fancy-dan appetizer served at diplomatic functions or the debutante cotillion. And it is true, caviar is considered a dish of the upper orders. Yest caviar is simply processed, salted, fish row eggs. The three leading grades or types are Beluga, Osetra, and Sevruga caviar. This is prime caviar that comes from wild sturgeon in the Caspian Sea. At the supermarket, most caviar sold these days is the pasteurized caviar which is less expensive than wild sturgeon; and is heat treated and vacuum packed in containers or glass jars.

Caviar, whether the prime or less expansive type is a great addition to pasta. And in this recipe I recommend any string pasta you favor, be it bucatini spaghetti, fettuccini, angel hair, etc. You can even do it with noodles, like fusilli. I use linguini. But, again, you're not limited. Bear in mind, for this recipe you don't need the high-priced product---unless you really want to splurge.

LINGUINI WITH CAVIAR

5 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, sliced into thin rings
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
2 2-ounce jars caviar
1 shot vodka
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup heavy cream (1/2 pint)
1 pound linguini
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh basil, washed, dried, and chopped

1. In a medium-sized frying pan or skillet, heat oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add onion and garlic. Sauté until soft but not brown.
2. Add caviar and mix for a few seconds. Pour in vodka and cook until it has evaporated almost completely.
3. Sprinkle with Worcestershire sauce and blend in cream. Remove from heat, mix and keep warm.
4. Boil linguini until al dente, or desired tenderness. Drain, leaving a little cooking water and blend in the tablespoon of olive oil.
5. Pour caviar sauce over the pasta and mix well. Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve immediately.
    Yield: 4 servings.