Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fusilli with Truffles, Gouda, and Peas

Winter is truffle season. Thank God. Truffles are not the most affordable fungi in the universe, but they are certainly the most special. If you can't afford fresh truffles (and most of the world can't), you can incorporate the incredible flavor and aroma of black and white truffles through a variety of truffle products that are available and more reasonably priced than their fresh cousins.

Truffle oil and truffle butter are two products I have seen in many specialty markets. I also recently purchased some white truffle cream, made by Roland, available in a tiny (2.8 oz) jar with the consistency of a thick paste. It cost $17, a bargain if you consider that fresh white truffles can cost about $200/ounce or more. Wowza!

I like thinning out the white truffle cream with heavy cream. It makes an incredibly fragrant and delicious base for this easy to whip up macaroni and cheese, and you don't even have to make a Bechamel. If you can't find the white truffle cream, try using truffle oil or truffle butter instead to add that special touch to your pasta creation.

Fusilli with Truffles, Gouda, and Peas
Serves 2

6 oz fusilli or rotini pasta
1 1/2 T. white truffle cream
2 T. heavy cream
3 oz Gouda cheese, shredded
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas, thawed if frozen
Black truffle, thinly sliced or shaved (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain.

Meanwhile, combine the white truffle cream and heavy cream until smooth. Mix in half the cheese and the peas. Toss in the hot pasta and stir to coat and allow the cheese to melt. Add the sliced black truffle, if using.

Transfer the pasta to a small baking dish, about 8 or 9" in diameter (I use a 9" enameled cast iron frying pan, such as Le Creuset). Top with the remaining cheese and bake for about 7 to 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve immediately.


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