Tagliolini al tartufo nero, or tagliolini with black truffles, is a classic dish that you can always find in the small town of Alba in the Piedmont region of Italy. The tagliolini pasta is a super-thin egg pasta that has amazing texture with the simple sauce of butter and grated Parmigiana cheese. Of course, freshly shaved truffle is infused at every step so each bite is filled with the glorious taste of truffles. A generous shaving of this little earthy delicacy on top makes for a simple and elegant pasta dish that you cannot get enough of. Pair it with a Nebbiolo, the premiere grape from the same region.
Truffles from Alba
Home to the world’s largest truffle festival each year, Alba is known for these delicacies. Black truffles are found year round, but the elusive white truffle only shows up during the fall and winter. It’s a special time of year and, especially in towns like Alba, restaurants will flaunt their white truffles all over their menus. Unlike the white truffles, you’ll always find tagliolini al tartufo nero on the menu at a restaurant in Alba. You pay a pretty penny for the upgrade from tartufo nero to tartufo bianco, but those of you who have experienced the white truffle know that it is often worth it.
You can find truffles in other regions of Italy (Tuscany, for instance), but the Piedmont region has a special place in my heart. I’ve loved it since my first visit back in 2019 and I adore the wine regions of Barolo and Barbaresco…perhaps even more than Chianti (dare I make such a bold statement on the internet?). I also love walking the streets of Alba. You can see the entire town in less than a day but there is charm hidden around every corner – along with amazing restaurants.
This particular truffle I used for this recipe was found while truffle hunting in Alba. You can read about the truffle hunting experience in detail here.
Tagliolini al Tartufo
You’ll find this pasta dish on nearly every menu in Alba. It’s a classic, a daily staple (I wish), and is super simple to make. All it takes is butter, Parmesan, a little salt and pepper, and of course, the truffle. While you could theoretically use any pasta shape, I implore you to use tagliolini (tagliatelle will suffice in a pinch if you can’t fine talgiolini). This dish is as much about texture as it is about taste. Buttery, rich, and comforting, you won’t be able to get enough (speaking from experience – I made this at home and enjoyed it 4 times in one weekend!).
SUGGESTED WINE PAIRING: Nebbiolo. Whether you splurge on a bottle from Barolo or uncork something less showy, Nebbiolo is always a great choice when truffles are involved. This pairing is a prime example of “what grows together, goes together”.Print
Tagliolini al tartufo nero, or tagliolini with black truffles, is a simple, elegant dish that is perfect for highlighting the delicious delicacy that is the truffle. The sauce comes together with just a few ingredients: butter, Parmesan, and a little salt and pepper.
- Fresh tagliolini pasta
- 1 whole black truffle, roughly 15-20 grams
- 5–6 tablespoons of high quality butter
- 4 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmigiana Reggiano
- Salt & pepper
- Ensure that the whole black truffle is clean. If you purchased the truffle at a store, it likely is already clean. If you brought it back from truffle hunting in Italy, you’ll want to clean it (gently!) to remove any excess dirt. Do so by using a damp cloth to remove dirt (don’t soak it in water).
- Melt the butter in a large pan over medium-low heat on the stove.
- While the butter melts, bring a pot of salted water to boil.
- Once the butter is fully melted, reduce the heat to low and add about 5 grams of shaved black truffle into the butter.
- Add the fresh tagliolini to the pot of boiling water and cook for about 2 minutes, or until it is just about al dente (or according to package instructions if using store-bought).
- Transfer the tagliolini to the pan with the butter using tongs. The excess pasta water will help create the sauce. Toss to coat.
- Add the grated Parmesan along with salt and fresh black pepper to taste, adding small amounts of pasta water as needed if things are looking dry or are sticking too much.
- Plate the pasta, drizzling any leftover butter sauce from the pan over top.
- Grate the remaining truffle using a truffle slicer (a potato peeler can work in a pinch) liberally over the pasta and serve immediately!
Make sure you have a proper truffle shaver on hand in order to get perfectly thin slices, though a potato peeler can work as a back-up plan.