Spaghetti ai Tartufi Neri (Spaghetti with Black Truffles)

by Chef Mark Tafoya

A timeless dish, the simple yet sumptuous flavors in this recipe offer a gesture of welcome for the truffle harvest. (Note: We show fresh tagliatelle in this photo, which can be used in place of the spaghetti.)

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 fresh black truffles
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. spaghetti (dry weight)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt
Grated Pecorino cheese

Preparation

Brush the truffles gently to clean them. Slice as thinly as possible into a bowl (preferably using a mandoline or truffle grater), pour in the olive oil, and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to sit at room temperature for a few hours to develop the truffle flavor in the olive oil.

Cook the spaghetti (using 6 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon salt per pound of dried pasta), and heat a little of the truffled olive oil in a skillet, gently cooking the garlic until softened. Do not burn the garlic. Remove from the heat and add the truffles with the rest of the olive oil.

[Chef’s Note:  It is important that truffles never be “cooked”, but just gently warmed, so as not to destroy their delicate flavor.]

When the spaghetti is cooked, drain and add to the truffle and olive oil along with a splash of the cooking water, and gently reheat over very low heat.  Serve with a sprinkling of grated pecorino at the table.

Photo: Kelly Cline
Recipe courtesy of Mark Tafoya

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