Black truffle spaghetti

 © Jeff Kauck

If you have the chance to cook with a prized French black truffle, this recipe is one of the simplest and best-value ways to enjoy its sublime earthy flavor. The truffle butter and truffle salt (that keeps wonderfully in the freezer to be used throughout the year) really boosts the truffle flavor. 

Equipment: A 10-quart (10 l) pasta pot fitted with a colander; 4 warmed shallow soup bowls.  

3 tablespoons coarse sea salt

1 pound (500 g) Italian spaghetti

2 tablespoons (1 ounce, 30 g) Truffle Butter (recipe follows)

1  cup (100 g) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus additional for serving

Truffle Salt (recipe follows)

1 tablespoon (6 g) minced fresh black truffle or minced truffle peelings (optional)

1.   Fill the pasta pot with 8 quarts (8 l) of water and bring it to a rolling boil over high heat.  Add the coarse salt and the pasta. Cook until tender but firm to the bite. Drain thoroughly.

2.   Transfer the pasta to a large bowl, add the butter and cheese and toss to coat the pasta evenly and thoroughly. Season lightly with the truffle salt.  Transfer to the warmed bowls, shower with minced truffle, if using, serve. Garnish with the additional cheese.  

4 servings

Wine suggestions: This calls for an everyday red and of course our favorite is our own Clos Chanteduc, a simple Côtes-du-Rhône, but one that forces you to make you sit up and take notice, focusing on its note of black coarsely ground black pepper,  the fine balance of fruit and acidity, as well as its easy-quaffing qualities. The blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre comes from vines planted mostly in the 1950’s so the flavors are rich and dense.

Truffle butter

Equipment: A small jar with a lid.

1 tablespoon (6 g) minced fresh black truffle peelings

4 tablespoons (2 ounces; 60 g) salted butter, softened

1.  Place the butter on a large plate. Sprinkle with the truffle peelings and mash with a fork to blend. Transfer to the jar. Tighten the lid.

2.  Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze up to 6 months. Serve at room temperature, or melted, as necessary. 

Makes 4 tablespoons (2 ounces; 60 g)

Truffle salt

Equipment: A small jar with a lid.

1 tablespoon (6 g) minced fresh black truffle peelings

1 tablespoon fleur de sel or fine sea salt

1. In the small jar, combine the minced truffles and salt.  Tighten the lid and shake to blend. Refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 year.

2. For each use, remove the truffle salt from the freezer or refrigerator, remove the desired amount, and return the jar to the freezer or refrigerator. 

Makes 2 tablespoons

Note: My favorite truffle supplier in Provence, Plantin in the village of Puymeras, supplies the top chefs in the world with fresh truffles from November to March, and with preserved truffle products year-round. Products can be purchased from their web site, Plantin.Com 

These recipes were originally published in Simply Truffles. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.