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Tuesday
Aug232011

« Black Summer Truffles, two ways »

Describe an ingredient any way you want. But if you are a food blogger, I would avoid the word "fussy" at all costs. It is truly the ultimate put down in blogosphere, sure to elicit both eye rolls and yawns. And unfortunately, it is an adjective that is often used to describe truffles. 

But don't be so easily fooled. In southern Italy, black summer truffles are not the stuff of haute cuisine. Rather, they are the foundation for simple, rustic dishes, like risotto and pasta. They are also used to enhance the flavor of sauces and cheese, like the wonderful casio cavallo that we purchased in Agnone, Molise this summer (more on this later).

Recipe No. 1  Risotto with Black Summer Truffles and Rosemary

Truffles are a lovely addition to a classic risotto. This rendition of the Italian classic, also incorporates a small amount of fresh, chopped rosemary -- which nicely complements the earthy taste and smell of the truffles.

Because truffles do not stand up to heat, they are incorporated into the risotto at the end of the cooking process (with the pecorino cheese).  Shaved truffles and a small amount of truffle oil finish off the dish, and make for a lovely presentation. 

 Recipe No. 2 Spaghetti with Black Truffles (Spaghetti ai Tartufi Neri)

If risotto feels overwhelming, don't despair! Spaghetti with Black Truffles might just be what the doctor ordered. This is a classic dish in the Italian Provence of Umbria, and very simple to prepare. 

The base of this pasta dish is olive oil, which has been infused with shaved truffles, and later garlic. Just before serving, the pasta is tossed with the olive oil, truffles and pecorino.  Just delicious!

This dish is classically made with spaghetti.  I substituted fresh fettuccine, which garnered no complaints.

Here are the links to the recipes:

Risotto with Black Summer Truffles and Rosemary

Spaghetti with Black Truffles (Spaghetti ai Tartufi Neri)

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