Truffles are a prized delicacy and a luxury product, which means that most people can rarely enjoy them. The price of black autumn truffle at the moment is around a 1000 pounds per kilo, and even if one needs a small quantity for cooking, it is still much more expensive than most ingredients. A more affordable choice is to use truffle oil. Traditionally truffle oil is good quality olive oil that is infused with white or black truffles. However, nowadays, the truffle flavour in the oil can also come from 2,4-dithiapentane, a compound that can be acquired naturally or created synthetically. The compound is responsible for part of the unique taste of truffles. When acquiring truffle oil, it is worth checking what in the oil makes its flavour, and to decide whether one wants to get the pricier truffle infusion or, the cheaper one with 2,4-dithiapentane. Most people really enjoy both, but perhaps those very familiar with the actual taste of truffles prefer an infusion. Whichever one has, both work perfectly for the following recipes.
Tagliatelle with Taleggio Cheese and Truffle Oil
This is an Italian recipe that traditionally uses truffles, but it is wonderful with using truffle oil instead. Taleggio is a North Italian semi-soft cheese that melts well and maintains a lovely creamy consistency when melted. If it is not available, it can be replaced by Brie, Gorgonzola Dolce, Bel Paese, Fontina, Limburger or Robiola.
400 g tagliatelle
150 g Taleggio cheese
truffle oil (quantity depends on the strength of the oil & one’s own taste; make sure to try it with a bit of the paste & sauce to find the right quantity)
1 dl cream
Start by boiling the water for the pasta, and make sure that the pasta and the sauce are ready at around the same time. Cook the pasta al dente.
Cut the cheese into small cubes; discard the rind. Put the cheese cubes in a small saucepan together with the butter and cream and slowly heat them up until the cheese melts. Mix them well and stir until the sauce is creamy and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Once the sauce is ready, pour the pasta into the sauce and mix well. Once served on plates, drizzle the plates with truffle oil to taste.
Spaghetti with Mushrooms and Truffle Oil
half an onion
garlic (1-2 cloves)
a few twigs of rosemary
500g mushrooms (any tasty mushroom will do)
Boil the pasta water; once it boils, start cooking the spaghetti.
Cut the mushrooms into 2cm pieces, and cube the onion. Start sautéing the mushrooms in olive oil on medium to high heat. Once the mushrooms have lost some liquid (roughly a few minutes into the frying), add the onions. Sauté until the onions are transparent, and the mushrooms have a firm but not dry texture. Tear off the rosemary leaves and chop them small; crush the garlic and sauté it and the rosemary for 30 seconds. Turn off the heat, cover with a lid and keep warm.
Once the pasta is cooked, pour it into a serving bowl. Pour the mushroom mix over the pasta, add truffle oil to taste, and mix well. Top the plates with freshly grated parmesan.