Tajarin with Porcini Mushrooms and White Truffle

This is a fresh egg yolk pasta prepared in a simple butter sauce. Will it make you fat if you eat it every day? Yes.

Will it make you fat if you eat it once in a great while? Absolutely not. Will it make you happy if you eat it once in a great while? Absolutely YES.

Add to that a little white truffle (if you’re willing to afford it) or some white truffle oil, and you have decadence on a plate. This is a dish that will seduce your guests. Serve it with a zesty and mineral laden Italian white (such as Arneis) or a 2011 Paumanuk Chenin Blanc, and you have a match made in heaven.

Pasta

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 8 egg yolks plus 1 whole eg
  • 2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 T water
  • pinch of salt

Sauce

  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 6 sage leaves
  • 1 cup dried porcini mushrooms (Soak in 1 cup of warm water or stock for 30 minutes. Strain and cut into small pieces.)
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Small white truffle (or white truffle oil)

Notes on fresh pasta: Fresh pasta takes patience. You will get better with practice and, I assure you, it’s worth it. If you have a stand-mixer with a pasta attachment, it will make this much easier. Otherwise, you can buy a manual pasta roller. You will also want to have a dough scraper handy.

Measure and sift the flour along with a pinch of salt. Beat the egg, yolks, olive oil and water. Place the flour on a clean countertop and make a well in the center with your hand (big enough to pour the egg mixture into). Pour in the egg mixture. With a fork, slowly stir the egg mixture. With each stir, skim a small amount of the flour into the mixture (be careful not to let the egg mixture pour out from the well). Continue doing this until the egg mixture has absorbed enough of the flour so that it is forming a dough.

With your hands, begin to knead the dough. At first, a pushing, folding, pushing motion is best to incorporate the remaining bits of flour and egg. Use your dough scraper to scrape any excess pieces from the countertop. Once the dough has incorporated fully, continue kneading in a circular motion. The idea is to form a ball and for a skin to develop that stretches over the ball. If the dough is too dry (cracking of crumbling), moisten your hands with a little olive oil and continue kneading.

When done, you should be able to press your finger to the top of the ball forming an impression, and the dough will push back up in response.

Place the dough into a bowl and cover lightly with a piece of plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes.

Once rested, cut the dough into four equal quarters using the dough scraper (you can wrap the dough and store it in the refrigerator for three days or a freezer for two – four weeks). Lightly flour your work surface. With a rolling pin, roll out one quarter, leaving the rest covered. Begin by processing it through a pasta roller (manual or automatic) on the widest setting. Then fold the dough in three (envelope fold), and roll it out again with your rolling pin. Put it through the pasta roller for three passes. Then reduce the setting on the pasta roller and put the dough through three more times. Continue doing this until you have rolled the pasta to your desired thickness. If the pasta begins to shrink after being rolled, cover it with plastic wrap for ten minutes to let it rest, and then continue to process once it’s rested.

Now that your pasta is at its desired thickness, you can cut it. A stand mixer has separate attachments to cut different-size pasta (I like tagliatelle for this preparation). However, you can just as easily use a dough scraper or pasty blade. After cutting, keep the pieces separated on a lightly floured surface.

To cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Drop the pasta into the water, making sure that the pasta doesn’t stick or clump together. Once the water returns to a boil, allow it to cook for one to two minutes.

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter over medium heat. Strain the pasta and douse with olive oil or truffle oil.

After draining the pasta, place it into the pan with the butter, sage, porcini mushrooms and a healthy pinch of salt and allow to cook for one minute. Remove from the stove, add half the grated Parmigiano Reggiano and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning, adjust if necessary and plate. At this time, if using a fresh truffle, grate the truffle over each mound of pasta. If using truffle oil, sprinkle just enough to add a vibrant aroma of truffle and serve. Have the remaining Parmigiano Reggiano out for your guests to sprinkle on top.

After working in the New York City restaurant scene, Eric Guido branched out, organizing private dining and tasting events centered around Italian cuisine and wine. Here he began to incorporate food photography and recipe development. His continuing work can be seen at www.theviptable.net. Eric’s passion for food and wine is fueled by the togetherness and satisfaction found at the table.

Source: What’s Cookin