The creamy sauce, the mushrooms slices, the earthy truffle flavor – one forkful of this pasta and I was back in Tuscany.
I remember the rolling hills, the narrow streets, the laughing crowds, the feeling of wonder and contentment. I remember the statue of David, a Chianti winery, the beautiful Duomo. And I remember the food: a salami sandwich with sharp pecorino cheese, hazelnut gelato, and pasta, glorious pasta.
Italy was THE BEST vacation I ever had. The sights were magnificent and the food was so memorable. Everything seemed so simple, but made with really good ingredients. This pasta dish is no different. When I was in Florence, my parents and I ate a simple tagliatelle dish with truffle butter and chopped mushrooms. I wanted to recreate it and in a way re-live some of my favorite memories of Florence.
I used Barefoot Contessa’s recipe for Tagliarelle with Truffle Butter but made a couple of changes: I used whole wheat spaghetti and added sliced white mushrooms.
Spaghetti with Truffle Butter and Mushrooms
(recipe adapted from Ina Garten)
2/3 cup heavy cream
3 oz truffle butter
10 oz whole wheat spaghetti (or any other pasta of your choice)
1 pack sliced white mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
shaved Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, heat the olive oil and butter (the regular butter, not the truffle butter) over medium heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and saute for 6-8 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft and brown.
When the mushrooms are done, transfer to a plate and wipe the pan clean with a paper towel. Add the cream and heat until it comes to a simmer. Now add the truffle butter, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Lower the heat to very low, and swirl the truffle butter until it melts. Keep warm over very low heat.
This dish is very luxurious but it is extremely easy to prepare. The truffle cream sauce is perfectly punctuated by the fresh chives and sharp Parmesan. Each bite tastes rich and yet earthy and comforting. If you close your eyes, it might transport you to Italy, too.
Have you been Italy? What’s the best dish you ate on vacation?