Truffle Ditalini

Recipe Courtesy of Italian Cooking and Living (
A web-exclusive recipe from Italian Cooking and Living

Recipe from Signature Pasta, published by The Italian Table. By Chef Fabrizio Aielli

  • 1 potato 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 16 pencil-thin asparagus spears, trimmed
  • salt
  • 1 pound ditalini
  • 1 tablespoon Mascarpone (preferably imported Italian)
  • 3 ounces black truffle
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Bring 1 quart of water to a boil and drop in the potato; cook until tender when pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes. Drain, peel, and chop. In a saucepan, combine the shallot, potato, broth, and 1/8 teaspoon of the saffron; bring to a boil, and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, and pour into a blender; add the remaining saffron. Process the mixture until it begins to emulsify, then add the olive oil in a thin steady stream while the motor is running; the texture should be creamy.

Meanwhile, bring 5 quarts of water to a boil. Drop in the asparagus and salt; cook 3 minutes, or until crisp-tender; remove to a bowl of cold water with a slotted spoon. Add the ditalini to the boiling water, and cook until al dente; drain. In a large saute pan, toss the ditalini with the potato puree, the drained asparagus, and the Mascarpone for 1 minute over medium heat. Spoon the ditalini onto a serving dish, shave the black truffle over them with a truffle slicer, and serve hot, sprinkled with the Parmigiano.

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