Spaghetti Alla Norcina

Spaghetti Alla Norcina

Serves 4

1 lb. dried (imported Italian) pasta – Rotelli, Angel Hair or Spaghetti
4 ounces black truffles
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup dry white wine
3 “crushed” cloves of garlic
3 “chopped” anchovy fillets or 3 tablespoons of anchovy paste
Fresh ground pepper and salt to taste

Over high heat, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Prepare the Truffles: If using fresh truffles, they need cleaning. Under cold water, rinse them and use a clean brush (e.g., unused nail brush or toothbrush if necessary) to remove stubborn dirt particles. Dry the truffles with a paper towel before graiting them with the smallest holes of a cheese grater.

Crush the garlic cloves and chop the anchovy fillets. Over low heat, pour the olive oil and white wine in a saucepan. Add the truffles and stir while they cook for approximately 1 minute. Pull the saucepan off the heat and add chopped anchovies and crushed garlic. Use the back of a spoon to press and mash the small pieces of anchovies until they become dissolved in the oil.

Place the saucepan back on the low heat to cook for another 5 minutes, but stir the mixture constantly. It is critical the heat stay low, and no boil ever occur, for such boiling will take away from the truffles’ great aroma and flavor. After 5 minutes, give it a taste and add plenty of pepper, but not too much salt (anchovies are naturally very salty).

By now, the pot should be boiling, and it is time to stir in the pasta. When the pasta is perfectly cook or “al dente,” drain it in a colander. Once drained, transfer the pasta to the saucepan where the black truffle sauce is waiting at a low heat. Quickly mix the pasta and sauce thoroughly.

Finally, plate the pasta and be sure to spoon (and not waste) any remaining liquid black truffle sauce (from the saucepan) over the servings. Eat immediately!

This dish is perfectly paired with a crisp green salad and crusty Italian bread.

Diva Tips:

• Substituting dried or jarred truffles allow this dish to become more regular and (of course) easier on the wallet.
• Personally, I prefer to use Quinoa Pasta as a healthier option.
• Timing is the key to maintaining the truffles’ flavor. My motto is “low, slow, and quick.” All cooking in the saucepan should never exceed 15 minutes.
• Garnish with fresh shaved Parmesan cheese.

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