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When we visited Assisi, we ate a lot of truffles. We had them swirled into pasta, tucked under eggs and shaved over pizza. When you're in Italy's Umbria region, that's what you do. You eat truffles because they're delicious, readily available and inexpensive when compared to what you'll pay for them the United States.
But, if I'm being honest, eating truffles wasn't my favorite part of our visit to Assisi. It was the day that Keith and I spent in the whipping wind, all alone, exploring every inch of an ancient castle.
Would you believe that little kids get to explore this castle - on their own - while their moms and dads sip wine in the courtyard? Now that's a playground! For kids of all ages, I suppose, because we had a ball.
The truffles though, they were pretty amazing. We loved them best with a thick pasta, like bucatini with with its hearty texture and hollow center, and a generous pour of good olive oil, a pasta you may know from Bucatini all'Amatriciana or even Pasta Aglio e Olio.
Bucatini with Black Truffle Sauce (Bucatini Al Tartufo)
- 1 pound dried bucatini
- 4 anchovy fillets minced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- pinch of salt
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 black truffle grated or very thinly sliced
- Cook bucatini according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking water.
- Combine anchovy, garlic and salt in a small bowl. Use the back of a spoon to mash mixture into a paste.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil, and anchovy mixture over very low heat. Cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes, until paste melts into the oil, taking care not to brown the garlic. Add grated or sliced truffle; cook and stir 15 seconds. Add drained, cooked pasta to pan and stir. If mixture is dry, add ¼ cup reserved pasta water; gently toss to combine. Increase heat to medium; cook and stir until heated through, adding more pasta cooking water and/or olive oil as desired.
- Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve.