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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.
Read more about our days in Assisi
Gubbio and Dangling Cages of Death
Want to check out our whole trip? Click here.
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.
This is an old post, but I was looking for a simple pasta recipe that uses bucatini, anchovies, and truffles, and it fit the bill. Not sure if anyone is still watching this post, but if you are, do you know how a jar of sliced truffles in oil can be used in place of the fresh truffle? How many ounces would slices need to be to equal the truffle in this recipe? Also, I’ve read that you should use paper towels to dry the oil off of a preserved truffle, but what about preserved truffle slices? Are you supposed to use paper towels to remove as much oil as possible from the slices before adding them to the dish? This seems like it would be difficult, as they are most likely quite fragile, but at the same time I would think doing that would be even more important, since the oil will have coated even more of the truffle, since there is more truffle exposed to it than if it was just a whole truffle, preserved in oil. Any input you can provide would be appreciated.
Marissa Stevens says
Hi there, Evan! I haven't worked with preserved truffles, so I can't speak from experience. However, I looked around and found this guide for cooking with preserved truffles. The article isn't specific about an equivalent amount to fresh truffles unfortunately. So you may have to add them to taste. Hope that's helpful!
Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen says
Marissa, that pasta is amazing looking! I need some! And those castle pictures? WOW!
Ancient castle over truffles? Words fail me. I am obsessed with truffles. OBSESSED. They are crazy expensive here in Australia so I savour every bite I get of anything with truffles in it. I am insanely jealous that I'm sitting here looking at a picture of something you made and ATE with truffle shavings. I need to come visit you. 🙂
Yes you do need to come visit, Nagi!! 🙂
Helen @ Scrummy Lane says
Oh, Marissa, where on earth do you find a whole truffle to buy? Now this is definitely something I'd like to have a go at, but I have no idea where I'd find a truffle in the UK.
Love the word 'bucatini', too - that's a new one for me!
We have a specialty grocery store in town that sells them for a mere $20 each - **gulp**. Definitely a splurge item. 🙂
Maggie | Omnivore's Cookbook says
I wish I found this recipe earlier! My boyfriend and I received a big piece of black truffle a while ago, and we spent a lot of time hunting for good truffle recipes. I guess it's because they are precious ingredient, there's not so many people talking about it. We cooked a risotto dish, omelet and a seared scallop with truffle in the end. I love the simplicity of your recipe. Because when you get truffle, you really don't need a lot of other seasonings. Will make this one when I get some truffle again. Btw, you guys look great in the picture 🙂
Well you may not have made this, but it sounds like you put that truffle to very good use!! And thank you for the compliment - it was such a fun day! 🙂
Erin | Well Plated says
Assisi is such an incredibly beautiful and special place. You make me want to wander its streets, with a plate of this pasta in hand!
Yes! That would make wandering the streets (and castles!) even better! 😉
Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps says
What an amazing trip!!! I just love Italy, but haven't had a chance to visit that region yet. And I never had truffles while I was there, in fact, I've never even cooked with real truffles, only truffle butter or oil. This looks phenomenal!
Thanks, Nicole. Umbria was one of our favorite regions. Now we have a lot of exploring in the south of Italy to do! 🙂
Shashi at RunninSrilankan says
That castle exploration sounds like it was so much fun! Lovely picture of the both of y'all Marissa!
And wonderful way to highlight black truffles
aww, thanks Shashi!
Faith (An Edible Mosaic) says
Oooh, I'd love the opportunity to go meandering through that old castle! And that truffle pasta sounds lovely too. Sounds like an incredible trip!
It was such a fun trip! And that castle was definitely a highlight!
These photos are beautiful! They make me want to book a flight to Italy today. However, that's idealistic. So, I'll just enjoy this recipe instead. Happy Wednesday 🙂
This sounds like such a simple yet intense plate of food! I don't think I've ever actually eaten a real truffle, bar a tiny bit of garnish on very limited occasion. I'm jealous! 🙂
You crack me up, Eileen. They're something special for sure - worth the occasional splurge.
Kathleen | HapaNom says
Oh Marissa, I love this post! Italy is one of...no, IS my favorite place in the world to visit! Assisi is such a lovely medieval town - I think I could walk those streets all day! One of my favorite things about Italian food is it's fresh and simple ingredients, made with such love and attention. This dish embodies that philosophy and looks/sounds so incredible, I can practically taste the truffles!
Thank you so much, Kathleen! Isn't Assisi amazing? Once of the best places on earth...
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Now you've got me wanting to make Strangozzi Marissa! It looks delicious and after we came back from Rome we've been eating so much Italian food it's crazy! 😛 This dish looks divine!
Thank you Lorraine - and please do!