Truffle pasta is easily among everyone's favorite memories of Italy. It is simple to make, and ridiculously expensive in restaurants, which makes it perfect for home cooking. As far as ingredients go, this recipe is a tad more costly than cacio e pepe, but very much reasonable, as it uses jarred truffle, which cost a fraction of the fresh stuff. A $20 jar of whole or sliced truffles could easily make 5~6 servings. Keep in mind jarred truffle won't be as wonderfully aromatic as fresh, and whole truffles have kind of a hard, brittle texture. They won't infuse into the pasta very quickly, yet you want to avoid tossing them too much. For best presentation & flavor, thinly shave the truffles and soak the slices in a good olive oil. Let the olive oil pick up the truffle scent and soften the slices a little. The olive oil will help infuse the truffle flavor to the pasta sauce, and softened slices are less likely to break.
Try this next time you want to impress your guests! Or whenever you feel like treating yourself on a workday :)
1 lb fresh fettuccini or tagliatelle
1 jarred truffle, shaved
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup finely grated grana padano (or parmigiano reggiano)
1/4~1/2 cup pasta water
salt as needed
Thinly shave truffle using a mandoline or garlic slicer. Soak truffle slices in olive oil; set aside and let them infuse while you prep everything else. This will let the truffle slices soften, and infused oil will help the pasta sauce pick up more truffle flavor.
Start boiling water for pasta. In the meanwhile, grate ~2 oz of cheese using the finest side of a box grater, or a microplane. Box grater preferred as it will yield a more granular, dust like texture that is easier to dissolve.
Cook pasta according to package instruction. Drain the pasta and reserve the cooking water. Add pasta water to grated cheese; stir to form a base sauce. start with 1/4 cup of pasta water, keep adding more as needed. once cheese is melted into a sauce, stir in butter, add half the olive oil & truffles. Stir until sauce is well combined. Add pasta into the sauce, toss to combine. Add the remaining olive oil and truffle to pasta. Top with more grated grana padano.