Celebrate something (anything, really) with a pasta dressed up with truffles.
When times call for something simple, comforting, and a bit indulgent, do as they do in the Italian region of Umbria — and make a black truffle spaghetti at home.
“Truffles, extra-virgin olive oil, and handmade spaghetti (or tagliatelle) are in our heritage,” says Marco Caprai of Arnaldo Caprai Winery, a 370-acre property in the Montefalco region of Umbria, an area that boasts a long history of rich red wines and prized black truffles. “This dish represents the true soul of Umbrian cuisine — great raw materials with no pretension.”
Black truffle spaghetti is typically reserved for special occasions, given the seasonality of black truffles and the cost. (The black truffle season in Umbria is specific to the winter months and can cost as much as $1,000 for a little over two pounds.) Caprai says he likes to serve truffle pasta for “Sunday lunches or when he has special guests.” Indeed, during black truffle season, every home cook and restaurant in Montefalco shows off the prized ingredient.
This dish is typically paired with a red wine that features Sagrantino and Sangiovese, two grapes that are signatures of the region. “We recommend Arnaldo Caprai Montefalco Rosso Riserva DOC, a blend of Sangiovese, Sagrantino, and Merlot. This selection tells the story of Montefalco as a wine region and shows the greatness of our terroir. Complex, deep and sophisticated, it matches perfectly with this black truffle dish,” says Caprai.
Here, Arnaldo Caprai chef Salvatore Denaro shared his go-to recipe for a simple spaghetti, where black truffles play a starring role.
Note: If you don’t want to break the bank on fresh black truffles, you can find various truffle options (dried, oils, etc.) online and at specialty foods stores at affordable price points, like thisjar of black truffles carried at Whole Foods, or one of these truffle oils from Urbani (please use sparingly!).
BLACK TRUFFLE SPAGHETTI
spaghetti or tagliatelle (if you are feeling ambitious, make from scratch for a supreme dish)
“Nero Pregiato” black truffle (alt. truffle oil or dried truffle)
extra-virgin olive oil (Arnaldo Caprai makes a delicious estate EVOO, available at Eataly)
1 garlic clove
1. Heat abundant extra-virgin olive oil in bain-marie (a.k.a. in a heated bath, wherein one bowl sits inside another filled with hot water). Add anchovy. Add one garlic clove but remove it after a few minutes.
2. If you have, shred the black truffle into oil and stir.
3. Boil spaghetti in salted water.
4. Drain the spaghetti. Add oil and truffle sauce and mix.
5. Serve immediately.