Visiting from Los Angeles, my awesome brother Erwin gave us a beautiful bottle of white truffle essence which Ren used to make this fantastic shiitake with truffle cream sauce dish.
Anyone who’s experienced the exquisite, earthy flavor of truffles knows what a prized ingredient this is. In doing research for this post, I came across two quotations from Alexandre Dumas about the divine truffle that pretty much say it all:
“The most learned men have been questioned as to the nature of this tuber, and after two thousand years of argument and discussion their answer is the same as it was on the first day: we do not know. The truffles themselves have been interrogated, and have answered simply: eat us and praise the Lord.”
Hee hee, good one. Here’s the other:
“They (truffles) can, on certain occasions, make women more tender and men more lovable.”
More tender and more lovable eh? I’ll remember that next time I’m in the dog house. *Knock Knock* Truffle Doritos sweetheart? 😆
I’m hardly an authority, but I read that when pairing truffles with food, the same basic rule applies when choosing wine – certain types of truffles go better with certain foods. Since this is white truffle essence, it will probably go best with pasta, eggs, dairy products, white meats, risotto, and as you can see below, wild mushrooms as well. Heavenly!
Dishes like this make me wish for a scratch n’ sniff screen.
- 2 Tbsps butter
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 yellow onion or large shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 cup dried sliced shiitake, reconstituted, reserving 3/4 cup of mushroom water
- 1/2 cup all-purpose cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- Sea salt, white pepper to taste
- White truffle oil, for drizzling
- 250 g spaghetti
- Bring large pot of salted water to boil for pasta. Cook according to package directions, then drain when done.
- While pasta is cooking, heat butter and olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add shallot and sauté until soft and translucent.
- Add mushrooms and cook just until they begin to brown and any liquid has evaporated. Pour in reserved mushroom water and let reduce until almost evaporated.
- Stir in cream and milk. Let it come to a boil, then lower heat to a brisk simmer and reduce until it has a velvety consistency.
- Season with sea salt and white pepper.
- Add drained spaghetti to sauce, tossing gently to coat. Add pasta water if sauce seems too thick. Transfer spaghetti onto serving bowl or individual bowls.
- Drizzle white truffle oil over top, then serve.
DID YOU KNOW?
That most bottles of “truffle oil” don’t actually contain any real truffles? Used as a lower cost substitute for truffles, the vast majority is just olive oil that’s been artificially flavored using synthetic agents such as 2,4-dithiapentane.
JB and Renée are the Traveleaters behind Will Fly for Food, a travel blog for the gastronomically inclined. They enjoy experiencing food from different cultures so they’ve made it their mission to try every country’s national dish. Read more about them and their National Dish Quest here.