“You cannot make a more expensive pasta dish than this, but that is not as important as the fact that you cannot make a more delicious pasta dish,” says Fabio Trabocchi, chef/owner of his eponymous restaurant empire—which includes one-Michelin-starred Fiola—in Washington, D.C.
For the holidays, Trabocchi whips up decadent creations across his restaurants, including a sinful pasta dish chockfull of butter, Parmigiano-Reggiano and white truffles.
“Although I had eaten black truffles when I was a child, I’d never seen a white truffle until I went to work for Silvano Pettinari in Corinaldo,” he recalls, thinking of the sound of the truffle slicer in the kitchen. “Eventually, because of my obvious enthusiasm—and because he was a nice guy—Silvano gave me a truffle. I took it home and cooked this pasta dish.”
After his father consumed the tagliolini bedecked with white truffle shavings, he exclaimed with great emotion: “Bestiale!” says Trabocchi. “Hard to translate, but, essentially, “pretty darn great!”
There’s no time like the holidays to go all out when it comes to whipping up a meal. Below, the recipe for Trabocchi’s tagliolini to make in the comfort of your own home, perfect for impressing those holiday guests. (And you can bask in glory after the fact.)
Tagliolini with White TruffleCourtesy of chef/owner Fabio Trabocchi, chef/owner of Fiola, Fiola Mare, Casa Luca, Sfoglina and Del Mar, Washington, D.C.
2 1/2 ounces white truffles
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
12 tablespoons (6 ounces) unsalted butter
2 3/4 pounds fresh tagliolini or other egg pasta noodle
1 1⁄2 cups (about 6 ounces) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
2. Meanwhile, gently clean the white truffles with a brush, removing any dirt on the surface.
3. Add the chicken stock to a large sauté pan; place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the liquid by one-third, then turn the heat to low, add the butter, and gently move the pan back and forth on the burner until the butter melts and is incorporated into the stock. Season to taste with salt and remove from the heat.
4. Add the tagliolini to the boiling water and immediately stir to prevent the pasta from sticking together. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until the tagliolini begins to rise to the surface. Set aside about 1⁄2 cup of the cooking water, and drain the pasta in a colander, shaking the colander to drain well.
5. Carefully rewarm the sauce over low heat. (If it gets too hot, the sauce could separate; if that should happen, swirl in some of the reserved pasta water to re-emulsify.) Add the pasta and Parmigiano-Reggiano, and toss well to coat.
6. Divide the pasta among six warm plates. Use a truffle slicer or a small handheld mandoline to shave the truffles over the pasta. Garnish with more Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings, micro greens or herbs and serve immediately.
Photos courtesy of Fiola.