One of my favourite things as summer draws near is the abundance of Kina (apparently at their best when the Pohutukawas flower) - for all of you reading this who don't live in New Zealand - that's Sea Urchin / Uni (Kina) and an iconic, bright red, summer flowering tree (Pohutukawa).
This is a super simple recipe that I actually first tasted in Italy - believe it or not - and have made every summer since!! I have matched with an amazing Sauvginon Blanc from te Pa. Given that the ingredients for this meal are super cheap - I really recommend trying the wine with it - its another whole level of flavours.
Pasta - I use a spaghetti or fettuccini (but go with your favourite) cook this until 'al dente' and drain, return to the pot and stir in the 'kina butter' mix - this should cook through a little from the remaining heat - just as if you were making alfredo.
Kina Butter - 2 egg yolks, 30g butter, 60g kina roe (about 3 small kina or one large) - blend for a few seconds until you have it smooth. I know this smells like you shouldn't eat it, but ignore this!!! I promise it'll be okay.
You can buy Kina in pottles - but if you have the real thing - my best advice is a pair of garden secateurs and a thick teatowel. Cut a small circle around the 'mouth' and lift it out... then use a teaspoon to scrape from the bottom up the side to extract the roe in one whole piece. Sometimes the roe is really dark, and other times it is light - don't know why - maybe it's what they eat.
Serve with a little pepper, basil leaves - I sometimes add other seafood, such as clams, tuatuas or mussels - but only if I have them on hand. Perfect beach house food - this little pic is one from last summer, where the roe was a lighter colour (and I kept a couple of kina roe for on top!!)