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Danger Zone: Summer Creations with Black Truffle
June is winding down to an end, but my shared garden still has lots of treasures for me, and so does my kitchen cupboard. I am on my way to check my vegetables–the broad bean plants have a lot of promising pods growing, which bodes well! but I thought I would share with you a recent creation of mine. I know that it may not sound very reckless, but if you think about how pricey one of the ingredients is you may probably see my point!
A couple of weeks ago I went to the garden as I usually do on a Sunday morning; the weather was good and so I got a few jobs done, including picking fresh onions and trimming the rocket, which was truly abundant and fresh (see the picture… ).
I went home and my lovely boyfriend announced that he would do with a nice plate of pasta, but with a summery twist!
This sent me on a search and after a trawl in the cupboard I unearthed a small jar of true Black Truffle from Norcia, in Umbria, central Italy, carefully pickled and preserved in extra virgin olive oil. Now, many may be more familiar with the white, admittedly more delicate and more refined, truffle from Alba, in Piemonte… however (and not just because I am a central Italy lass! ) I can assure you that the black variety is just as good. In my house my Mum enjoys tagliolini pasta seasoned with olive oil, some grated black truffle and some grated Pecorino (best if very hard, seasoned Fiore Sardo) as one of her comfort staples, so you can imagine, I do love the stuff too!
The thing is, truffle, as you know, is rather expensive: the white variety can go for between Eur. 300 and 500 per 100 g; the black one is a bit more economical–still, a small 30g jar can sell for something like Eur. 40! Still, I thought that for a special summer lunch it would be worth the effort!
So here goes… danger zone!
Summer Truffle Pasta
For 2 people.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook your pasta of choice til al dente (we had canneroncini, but fusilli or even spaghetti works a treat!). Meanwhile, in the bowl of a blender place the rocket leaves, washed carefully, trimmed and torn in pieces; add the truffle flakes with about 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 small and minced clove of garlic and, if you can, a good handful of mixed grated Pecorino Romano DOP and Grana Padano DOP (Parmigiano Reggiano DOP is rather too salty I think but each to their own!). Blend til you have a smooth pesto consistency.
Drain the pasta, return to the warm pan and add the pesto and mix well. Serve at once.
Lovely BF had a simple salad with this–more of the garden offerings, i.e. lettuce leaves and trimmed and chopped fresh onions. For me, since I cannot eat cheese right now, I made a vegan version of the pesto, by substituting some chopped fresh almonds and a couple of tsp of yeast flakes… ok, it does not sound very appetising, but it was good–anything would go with truffle, I tell you!
And now, on to my vegetable patch… Chat anon!
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