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Pasta with "scorzone" truffle in mushroom's cream

(Nastroni al tartufo scorzone in cremina di funghi)

  • 250 grams of egg tagliatelle
  • 50 grams of dry boletus
  • one white onion cut into small pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • one small bunch of "nepitella" (it is a herb)
  • the leaves of a small branch of rosemary
  • 4-5 sage leaves
  • 1 spoon of granular stuff for boletus broth
  • one stock cube for boletus broth
  • butter
  • full-cream milk
  • white flour
  • salt
  • 40 grams (at least) of black truffle (the so called scorzone).
Put the dry mushrooms in a small saucepan with hot water in order to reconstitute them and keep them warm. Take the blender and put inside onion, garlic, rosemary, sage, one spoon of granular stuff, 50 gr. of butter with half big spoon of mushrooms hot water; mix all these ingredients in order to form a quite runny purée. Then pour it in small saucepan, add the small bunch of nepitella and cook over a medium heat, turning the stuff very often, for 5 or 6 minutes. At the same time take the blender once again and mix 30 gr. of butter, the stock cube, one spoon of flour and the mushrooms together with 2 big spoons of their hot water until you have a homogeneous purée. Then warm up 1/2 litre of milk and leave it available to use later. Take the blender and pour the mixed stuff in a pan over the heat, turn and mix it very well, cook it for 5-6 minutes by turning it and add some spoons of the warm milk when it will start to thicken, because it has to be sufficiently runny. After this time add some more milk until you will have a runny cream with a delicate boletus flavour. The presence of the granular stuff and the stock cube does not require to salt this cream, but if necessary you can add a little bit of salt, then switch off the heat and leave it for some minutes.
Cook the pasta "al dente" then drop it in a pan (please take care to the fact that the pasta should not be excessively drained), flavour it with 5-6 spoons of mushrooms cream, turn and mix it very well, add 3 spoons of the cooking water, let it drain and then add some more cream and let it mix to the pasta, over a brisk heat and very quickly. Then serve the pasta on the plates and cut over the pasta the truffle, which has been previously cleaned and removed from its strong bark.
The "scorzone" is a variety of black truffle, it is quite ordinary; its smell is very closed to the one of earth and of garlic, and it has the restrained smell of the proper black truffle. For this reason it is not valuable and so it is quite reasonable as it is concerned with its price. Obviously it needs some support to reach good qualitative levels, so that we have presented this mushroom cream, because its flavour links and matches naturally with the ones characterizing this type of truffle, that means earth and garlic. The word cream reminds culinary images of frank expression, so for this reason we have chosen the butter, instead of oil, as cooking grease. We have used the full-cream milk to please the Prof. Gregory (but not only), otherwise it would have been cream, but as Prof. Gregory obstinately denies the use of cream in the first courses of Italian cooking, we have used the milk... but we agree with him.

A Giuseppe Alessi recipe
Translated by Gianna Toni
Picture by Kee-Ho Casati

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