I was brought up with truffles, not because my family was rich but because my father was a friend of a trifolau, someone who searches with their dogs for the precious fungus (I now have my own, the very special Sandrino, in Asti). When, very rarely, we had a truffle, my mother would make fresh egg tagliolini, the thinnest type of flat tagliatelle. This recipe approximates the taste of that dish, without reflecting its hefty price tag!
400g fresh or dried egg tagliolin
100g truffle butter (available in good delicatessens)
60g Parmesan, freshly grated
Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente: for fresh pasta about 2–4 minutes; for dried pasta, follow the instructions on the packet. When ready, drain, reserving 6 tbsp of the pasta cooking water.
Put the butter in a pan and melt, then add the reserved pasta cooking water for moisture. Add the drained pasta and Parmesan and toss well to combine. Serve hot.
TO MAKE IT MORE SPECIAL
If you are lucky enough to have some, shave 50g fresh white truffle from Alba on to the pasta to make it extra special. The black Périgord truffle doesn’t have enough smell for this dish, but can be combined with the butter to give extra flavour.