Not your typical truffle

By: Faith Vickery
FLORENCE, Italy—Not knowing much about truffles, I began talking to Emily, the truffle shop employee at the Florence Mercato Centrale. In fact, five of us crowded inside the tiny shop to sample “Crema Tartufata” or truffle cream. It was warm and smooth, the perfect spread for a crumbly baguette. The second sample was a slice of black truffle on bread. It had a richer yet discrete taste.IMG_1947

Truffle honey was next. It sounds odd but after our previous experiences we were more than willing. Emily dipped a miniature cube of cheese in the jar of truffle honey and our surprised taste buds noted how the extremely sweet honey paired with the cheese was an “I’ll take two jars” kind of flavor.

The previous knowledge I had about truffles was that they usually came on more expensive dishes. It turns out truffle oil has been sterotyped–it’s great as a salad dressing, over pasta, or just on bread as an appetizer, according to Emily. Here’s a recipe if you’d like to see for yourself!

One-Pan Baked Champagne Cream Sauce Fettuccine with Truffle Oil

• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
• 4 sage leaves, chopped
• 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
• 2 cups heavy cream (or 1 cup milk, 1 cup cream)
• 1 1/2 cups champagne (may sub chicken or veggie broth if needed)
• 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
• 1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
• pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
• 1 pound fettuccine pasta
• fresh parsley for topping
• 2 tablespoon truffle, or as needed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat a large cast iron skillet or brasier with high sides over medium-high heat. Add the butter, garlic and sage. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the garlic is fragrant and the sage crispy. Stir in the cream (and milk if using) and cream cheese. Bring to a boil and simmer until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add the champagne, gorgonzola, crushed red pepper, nutmeg and a good pinch of pepper, whisk until the cheese has fully melted. Stir in one cup of water, bring to a boil and then add the dry pasta noodles and place the lid on the pot. Once the noodles have softened into the sauce (they can still be hard) transfer the pasta and sauce to a 9×13″ dish and bake for 20-25 minutes. Stir the pasta and season with salt and pepper.

To serve, plate the pasta. Garnish with parsley, black pepper and truffle oil.
Recipe from:


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Filed under Florence, MU Journalism Abroad, Science ad Agricultual Journalism

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