We handed over a huge sum of money for the truffle the size of a walnut. The merchant carefully secreted away the rest of the truffles in a cloth stuffed in an old fashioned looking container that resembled the base of a drip coffee maker. I am not even sure if we got the truffle we pointed out because it was like the shop keeper and forager used some fast hand work to confuse us as to which white truffle we were actually getting. Nonetheless, they secreted away the other truffles for another buyer to admire and we headed for Andria’s Italian villa to cook fresh pasta and truffles.
Below is a photo of morels which are related to truffles. Both are technically an edible fungi sac and not actually a mushroom. Pasta and simple ingredients inspired by Italy itself made the truffle taste like the amazing gourmet condiment it is.
Mushrooms, Asparagus and Micro Greens with an Egg Foam
1 cup truffles, morels or other mushrooms (Thinly slice truffles. If using mushrooms, slice in half)
1 tablespoon butter or oil
8 oz asparagus
1 egg for each serving, poached (4 or 5 eggs)
Egg Foam Sauce
1/4 cup chicken broth, boiling hot and preferably homemade
2 eggs, beaten to create a foam
1/8 teaspoon salt
Dash white pepper
Thinly slice truffles or cut mushrooms in half. Use truffles raw but if using mushrooms, saute in butter 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Set aside. Microwave asparagus that has been rinsed with water for about 3 minutes or until tender in a microwave-safe dish. Place poached egg in serving dish. Top with mushrooms and asparagus.
Combine chicken broth, eggs, salt and pepper for the sauce in a blender. Whip until foamy. Spoon sauce over each serving and garnish with micro-greens and croutons.
Truffles and Basil Penne
1 lb. penne pasta
1 fresh sliced truffle (or favorite mushrooms sautéed)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon oil
1 bunch basil, cut into strips
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Prepare pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, saute garlic in oil for about 30 seconds. Drain pasta. Add garlic and freshly grated Parmesan cheese to the pasta. Stir in basil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with slices of the raw, white truffles or sautéed mushrooms.