Tonnarelli with fresh truffle and Grana Padano Riserva
. Difficulty: Medium
. Serves: 4 people
. Preparation time: 1 hour and 10 minutes cooking time
It is no secret that I love fresh pasta and Grana Padano cheese, so this recipe - to celebrate World Pasta Day - should come as a no surprise!
I particularly enjoy the texture of this thick spaghetti or ‘Tonnarelli’ as it’s known in South Italy. When cooked ‘al dente’ they retain an amazing bite.
Now, I know how it sounds, 4 portions of truffle pasta in a huge wheel of Grana Padano, it is not doable at home, nor wise for your budget! I get that and you are totally right! But you have to allow me this celebration because this is what it is. I am celebrating the world-wide appreciation for Pasta together with the Grana Padano consortium, therefore this was the only way to go, go big or go home they say! The recipe itself is super simple; the grandeur is ldue to the size (and the taste).
Please, please, attempt this recipe without the whole wheel, simply get yourself a nice piece of Grana Padano Riserva - which is aged for over 20 months and is therefore richer in flavour - and grate it over a bowl of freshly made spaghetti.
A triumphant topping for this pasta dish is a few shaves of fresh truffle, but don’t stress if you can’t get hold of it. A few drops of truffle oil or truffle paste will work just as well, or alternatively you can simply add chopped chives and mushrooms. It will be equally as delicious.
If you want to avoid the work of making your own pasta (even though I think you should attempt it, it’s so easy), simple store-bought tagliatelle or fettucine will do the job.
Chef tip: "The tonnarelli can be used straight away or store them lightly floured in the fridge for 1 day. They can also be frozen and cooked straight from the freezer."
Ingredients400g grated Grana Padano Riserva
500 g fresh Tonnarelli/Spaghetti/tagliatelle
2 garlic cloves
40 g butter
100 g seasonal black truffle
Salt and pepper to taste
For the pasta
520 g 00 pasta flour
40 g egg yolk (about 2)
5 whole eggs (about 240 g)
Extra flour to dust
PreparationStart with your pasta. Knead the flour and eggs until you have a smooth and elastic dough. Wrap with film and leave to rest for about 30 minutes. Then roll the dough into sheets. If you have a wooden board great, if you don’t, a clean surface will work.
Slice the pasta into thick sheets and flatten them with a rolling pin. With the help of a pasta machine, roll the pasta out. (This can also be done by hand using a rolling pin and elbow grease). Pass the dough gradually from the largest setting to the mid setting of the machine because to make tonnarelli the pasta needs to be at least 3-4 mm thick.
Dust the pasta sheets with flour and let them dry on the table for about 10 minutes. Now, you can either cut the spaghetti by hand or using the cutter provided with the machine. Set your Tonnarelli aside.
Brush and quickly rinse the truffles to make sure there is no dirt left. Peel the truffles with a paring knife but do not discard the trimmings, instead chop them finely with a knife or with a processor. Set the peeled truffles aside to grate on top of your pasta. Now brown the butter in a small pan and add the garlic. When golden, remove the garlic and add the chopped truffle trimmings. Season with salt and set aside, there you have an amazingly tasty homemade truffle butter.
Before cooking the pasta, prepare a quick cheese paste using the grated Grana Padano Riserva. Add a couple of spoonfuls of hot water to the cheese and mix it well with a spatula - this will help the cheese melt nicely and will stop it spliting when you add the hot pasta.
If you went all the way and bought yourself a ½ Grana Padano wheel, proceed to carve it to obtain a “bowl” in the centre where to mix your pasta. The hot pasta water will gently melt the cheese as you stir the pasta to create a super creamy sauce.
If you don’t have a cheese wheel (I know how it sounds, sorry) don’t worry at all, simply use a large heat resistant bowl to mix the pasta once it’s cooked.
Drop the pasta in salted boiling water and cook for 2 minutes until ‘al dente’. Now drain the pasta but retain the cooking water. Mix the pasta with the truffle butter and then slowly incorporate the cheese paste adding a little pasta water at the time to loosen it up. We are looking for a creamy consistency that will coat the pasta evenly. Taste to check whether a little extra salt and pepper are needed and top with grated or shaved fresh truffle.
Serve straight away.