Spaghetti Alla Chitarra is a great way to showcase the amazing truffles we have here on our doorstep. Its simplicity allows the truffle flavour to really shine through, it also utilises all the truffle and trimmings to maximise your investment. We have included a recipe for the pasta here but it could be replaced with a very good quality dried pasta.
For the spaghetti
225g 00 flour
60g whole egg
1.5g extra virgin olive oil
Mix the dry ingredients together then add the wet ingredients, knead for 5-10 minutes until the dough has come together to a smooth ball (a mixer with a dough hook works well).
Wrap the dough and rest for 2 hrs. Using a pasta machine roll out to 2-3mm sheets about 30cm long then pass through 3mm cutter. Dry the noodles in 100g portions. A broom works well, or a neat nest on a cake rack.
The pasta will dry at room temperature and we are looking to ¾ dry it. This will improve the texture but ensure a short cook time. The pasta should dry in 3-4 hours and keep in the fridge for a week in a sealed container.
500g button mushrooms
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig rosemary
Wash the mushrooms and place in a baking dish in 1 layer, dry roast the mushrooms for 1 hour at 180C (350F) or until golden (they will shrink a good deal). Cover with water, add herbs and continue to cook for 40 minutes then strain and reserve.
Any leftover bread works here, we use leftover sourdough. Rip into course breadcrumbs and then pan fry in olive oil with a small amount of smashed garlic, drain when golden and dry on paper towel.
A good rule of thumb is to allow at least 5g of truffle per person. When selecting truffles focus on aroma over appearance and purchase as close to the time you intend to use. Then store your truffles in a airtight container wrapped in paper towel, in the fridge. Truffles are at their peak up to 5 days out of the ground so try to stay in that window for best results.
Chef’s Tip – Rather than trying to extend the use by storing in rice, we take all truffle trimmings and finely chop them and add to salted butter. Fat is an excellent vehicle for truffle and a spoon of this butter in your risotto will give a better result than air infused rice. The butter will also slightly extend your truffle shelf life.
To bring the dish together
Bring a large pan of salted water to a rolling boil (the 1:10:100 ratio works well for folk that appreciate the joy of measuring and consistency: 1 salt, 10 pasta, 100 water).
Boil the pasta for 3 minutes making sure it doesn’t stick together, while the pasta cooks bring 200g of stock per portion to a simmer. After 3 minutes transfer the pasta to the stock, we are only par cooking the pasta in boiling water, the cook will be finished in the mushroom stock, similar to cooking a risotto.
Continue to cook the pasta in stock at a gentle boil for another 3 minutes or until the stock has almost evaporated, check the pasta is cooked and adjust with more stock/time if necessary, then add a good tablespoon of butter per portion and 10g of finely grated parmigiano.
Mix continually until the butter has melted and the starch from the pasta, stock, butter and cheese should emulsify to form a sauce to just coat the pasta. Keep cooking down if it’s too thin or add stock if it’s looking like splitting.
Shave ½ the truffle in the pasta and toss through, plate, top with pangrattato then shave the remaining truffle and a drizzle of good quality olive oil.
For me this is the best balance of truffle flavour mixed with the fat in the pasta and shaved truffle over hot pasta for aroma.
Note: if using dried pasta follow the manufacture’s directions but taking off 2 minutes from the cooking time.
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