I just began to realize that my mother has recently been in the habit of giving to me, as gifts, cookbooks – and I love her for it! Most recently, I was fortunate enough to receive Mastering the Art of French Cooking by the revered Julia Child, but before that I was given Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics. Over the past eight or so months I have been correlating the episodes that air on Food Network and then finding them in her cookbook, giving the ones that catch my interest a test run in the kitchen. Not only does this particular book contain recipes, but it also contains tips for setting tables, flower arranging and organizing a menu for a party, all keeping with the theme going back to basics. It is a wonderful combination.
While it is impossible to go wrong with any of Barefoot Contessa’s recipes, I found one that was so savory delicious that one can’t help but utter “oh my goodness” upon tasting it for the first time. I think I actually have repeated this phrase each time I have tasted it, but let’s get to the recipe itself. Tagliarelle with Truffle Butter. This dish, as promised, only takes ten minutes to throw together, and paired with a palette whetting Chardonnay or Viognier from Abeja Winery or a White Paint Brush from Isenhower Cellars, it is an absolutely treat. Just the simple fact that it only takes a mere ten minutes is something to keep in mind when you’ve had a long day and need to unwind and take a few more minutes on the couch, or want to spend more time with the company you have invited over.
*1/2 cup heavy cream
*3 ounces white truffle butter
*Freshly ground black pepper
*1 (8.82-ounce) package Cipriani tagliarelle dried pasta or other egg fettuccine
*3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
*3 ounces Parmesan, shaved thin with a vegetable peeler
1. Add 1 tablespoon salt to a large pot of water and bring to a boil.
2. Meanwhile, in a large (12-inch) saute pan, heat the cream over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Add the truffle butter, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, lower the heat to very low, and swirl the butter until it melts. Keep warm over very low heat.
3.Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes, exactly. (If you’re not using Cipriani pasta, follow the directions on the package.) When the pasta is cooked, reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta. Add the drained pasta to the saute pan and toss it with the truffle-cream mixture. As the pasta absorbs the sauce, add as much of the reserved cooking water, as necessary, to keep the pasta very creamy.
4.Serve the pasta in shallow bowls and garnish each serving with a generous sprinkling of chives and shaved Parmesan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve at once.