Impulse Buy: Burro al Tartufo Bianco (White Truffle Butter)
Store: Antica Drogheria Manganelli, which is in Sienna, Italy
Aisle: Gourmet Italian foods
Cost: about $10
Two summers ago, I had an opportunity to study art and archaeology in Rome. As big and beautiful as Rome is, it wasn’t enough for me. I traveled all over Italy to try each city’s scrumptious cuisine. For one of the weekends, I journeyed to Sienna where they are known for their pappardelle sulla lepre (pappardelle pasta with hare).
While I was venturing through their curvy streets for the perfect restaurant that serves this famous dish, I found a local shop called Antica Drogheria Manganelli. The shop was adorned with wooden shelves filled with wine, olive oil, and other interesting ingredients. I just had to go in. Needless to say, I left with more than enough goodies. Some I used up right away like chili-infused olive oil and chocolate pasta, but there were others that sat on my counter top for over a year – like the infamous Burro al Tartufo Bianco (White Truffle Butter).
Don’t be terrified by the name. White Truffle Butter can be used like any other butter that you spread on your bread or cook your food. It is almost like regular butter with a few slices of white truffles and it definitely has that pungent (but aromatic) truffle smell.
I rediscovered its allure when I pushed aside a few bottles on my countertop at home and (re-)discovered the small container. At first, I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. But then I thought, what better way to use truffle butter purchased from Italy than in a pasta dish?
Follow my instructions and you won’t feel as though that jar of truffle butter hiding behind other condiments on your counter is just for show. Really–it’s for eating!
Julie Sophonpanich is a senior at Brown University where she concentrates in History of Art and Architecture. She loves hosting dinner parties for her friends and traveling to sample delicious food.
White Truffle Linguine with Shrimp
About 1/2 pound linguine (or your favorite pasta shape)
8 shrimp (deveined and chopped into smaller pieces)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon truffle butter
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
First, prep the fresh ingredients: Peel the shell off the shrimp. Make sure to de-vein the shrimp by cutting along the top of the shrimp and removing the black vein. (Note: some shrimp also have veins along the underside as well). Then, chop the shrimp into small pieces.
Boil a pot of water.
While waiting for the water to boil, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Rinse and let the parsley dry. Then, chop it into smaller pieces. Grate approximate 2 tablespoons of parmesan. Set them aside.
Add 2 tablespoons of salt into the pot of boiling water. Place the linguine (or your favorite pasta shape) into the boiling water. Let boil for 10 minutes or until al dante.
While the pasta is cooking, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot (about a minute), add the shrimp. Sauté until they turn pinkish orange (about 2-3 minutes).
Add 1 tablespoon of truffle butter into the pan. Stir the butter until it melts. Then, add a healthy dose of salt (1/2 teaspoon) and a pinch of black ground pepper. Stir.
By this time, the pasta should be cooked. Remove the pasta from the pot of water. Rinse with cold water and drain out access water.
Place the pasta into the pan of shrimps and sauté for 1 minute. Add the grated parmesan and stir.
Remove the pasta from the pan and place it onto a serving dish. Sprinkle fresh parsley and grate extra parmesan on top.