Marukai Markets, 1740 W. Artesia Blvd., Gardena, (310) 660-6300; 1420 S. Azusa Ave., West Covina, (626) 918-0825; 123 Onizuka St., No. 101, Los Angeles (Little Tokyo ), (213) 893-7200.
Spaghetti with sea urchins and clams
Total time: 25 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Dash crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 pound spaghetti
1 cup white wine
2 pounds small clams in shell (Manila type)
2 (2-ounce) trays sea urchins
Italian parsley, leaves only, left whole
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. Taste a bit of sea urchin. If it seems bitter, add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the skillet. Cook until the garlic is soft but not yet golden, 2 to 3 minutes. When the garlic has softened, add the white wine to the skillet and raise the heat to high. Cook until the wine has reduced by about half, 4 to 5 minutes.
2. Add the clams and 1 1/2 trays of sea urchins, reserving the best for garnish. Cover and cook, stirring frequently, until the clams are all open, about 5 minutes.
3. While the sauce is cooking, add the spaghetti to the boiling water. Cook until it is just short of al dente, soft but with a thin thread of crunch in the center, about 7 minutes.
4. When the clams have opened, remove the skillet from the heat and stir to break up as much of the sea urchins as possible. They should blend into the sauce.