During my recent trip to Italy, I was on a mission to return to the States with one item in particular…truffles from Umbria, where this decadent fungi grows wild underground, beneath trees. If you’ve ever eaten a truffle, you have no idea what you are missing. I’m not sure how to even describe them except to say they are earthy, chewy, meaty and make-you-moan-out-loud, delicious. While they taste a bit like a strong mushroom, there is really no comparing the two. Truffles are very expensive, about $800/pound U.S. according to a show on the Travel Channel, so if you want to try a truffle, you might consider starting out with a truffle oil to make sure you enjoy the flavor. You can find truffle oil at finer grocery stores like Whole Foods. If I wanted to order the real thing, I might need to go through my friend, David, who owns an upscale ristorante in Oakley (Cincinnati, OH) called Boca, because this gourmet ‘shroom is super hard-to-find.
I was reading an article on Snooth.com that talked about wines that can hold up to the strong flavor of truffles and thick, creamy dishes they often accentuate. I found a truffle & pasta recipe and the author suggested a Reisling, to cut through the dishe’s thick creaminess. If you made this recipe, tell me what you think of it and if you happen to be a truffle addict like I am, please share your truffle tasting experience on this blog. Buon appetito!
Worth every guilty ounce of truffle cream sauce
Cutting the fat with Dry Rielsing
Eric Guido returns this week with a stunning Fettucini in Truffled Cream Sauce recipe. Using the the theory of contrasting flavors Eric has paired this dish with a set of dry rieslings. In the wine and food pairing world there are two fundamental concepts that govern pairing decisons. One can choose to either contrast, or to compliment, the flavors and textures of a dish.
In this case the rich creaminess of the sauce is contrasted against the brilliant mineral, and acid rich flavors of the wines. Other wines that would be worth exploring for this sort of dish, rich, creamy and laced with prosciutto, would include Pinot Bianco from the Alto Adige, Fiano di Avellino from Campania, dry Riesling from Australia or even a fine aged dry Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley
Fettuccine in Truffle Cream Sauce
Fettuccine in Truffle Cream Sauce
This recipe is all about planning and timing. When working in fine dining, every plate is prepared separately in it’s own pan, no matter if the entire table orders the same thing. However, at home, this would be nearly impossible, as you’d find yourself running out of burners very quickly. I have adjusted my recipe, which was initially intended for a single plate for a party of four.
When it comes to the truffles, look for white truffles. If you have the funds to actually buy truffles for shaving over this dish then that’s great. However, if you’d like to keep the cost of your meal outside of the stratospheric cost range, you can easily use truffle oil. Be careful, though, when purchasing truffle oil by looking for a brand that has actual truffle in the oil, and stay away from anything that has ingredients that read “truffle flavoring.” I use white truffle oil from Wild Forest Products.
Lastly, a note on the prosciutto. When you go to your butcher, ask for them to slice the prosciutto thick, about 1/8 of an inch. At that size you will likely need about two slices for this recipe. This will speed up your preparation. Trim the fat and cut the prosciutto into a small dice.
1 lb bag of fettuccine (timing in recipe is for dry pasta)
¾ cup Prosciutto di Parma (small Dice)
1 cup peas (frozen is fine but go for a good quality brand)
1 shallot (fine dice)
3/4 cup white wine (if possible, use the same wine you are pairing)
1 cup vegetable stock
1 quart whipping cream (at room temperature)
1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano (grated)
4 tbls butter (cubed)
truffle oil (see recipe instructions for use)
salt and pepper (to taste)
fresh parsley (minced)
1 tbls. canola oil.
- Strain them again and set them aside, covered, in your refrigerator.
- Set the prosciutto aside.
- Allow the shallots to sweat in the butter until they are translucent.
- As the white wine is reducing in the pan, add the pasta to the boiling pasta water and set your timer to 2 minutes short of the recommended cooking time. (You are now at the point of no return.)
- The idea is to reduce the cream by 1/3.
- Taste and season lightly with salt.
- The timer for your pasta should go off about the same time as the cream has reduced to desired level.
- Place pan back on the stovetop over a low flame.
10. Drizzle pasta with truffle oil and toss. Then add the pasta back to the pot and pour the reduced cream sauce over the pasta along with the par-cooked peas and stir to combine.
11. Turn off the burner and add half of the grated Parmigiano Reggiano and last two tbls of butter. Stir to bring the sauce together and taste. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.
12. Remove the plates from the oven and portion the pasta out with tongs. (Don’t worry about the sauce at this time because it will collect at the bottom of the pan.) Once you have portioned out all of the pasta, use a ladle to sauce each plate from what is left at the bottom of the pot, making sure to distribute the peas and pieces of prosciutto evenly.
13. Drizzle each plate with truffle oil. (Be careful not to overdo it. Truffle and truffle oil can go from good to overwhelming very quickly.) Then sprinkle with the remaining parmigiano and then with parsley.
14. With a warm paper towel, clean the rim of the plates and serve.