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 While staying at the house we actually went truffle hunting .

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We were just leaving to go out early one evening when Mario, the local truffle hunter, arrived with his 3 dogs

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We dropped everything and joined them running through the woods.

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Those dogs were just amazing how quickly they found the truffles. It was important that  Mario took the truffles from the dogs immediately before they enjoyed eating them.  They were so excited

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In the world of gourmet foods, there is one treasure that is literally and figuratively worth its weight in gold. Truffles, usually too expensive for most consumers

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What are Truffles?

All types of truffles are related to mushrooms but unlike mushrooms, truffles never emerge from the surface. Instead truffles are formed below the soil close to a tree’s root system, truffles are the “fruit” of another fungus/tree relationship. The fungus that makes truffles can only survive in certain soil conditions such as those created in stands of oak, willow and linden trees. Once attached to a root, the fungus will produce one truffle per year, with each type of tree lending a distinctive aroma and flavour to the truffle.

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Italian Truffles

Truffle hunting with Mario and the 3 dogs – One of the most fun things I have done.

Later we prepared a pasta dish using these delicacies.

Spaghetti with truffle

10 minutes preparation + 12 minutes cooking Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 3 oz black truffle
  • clove of garlic
  • 1 salted anchovy
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Spaghetti

Clean the truffle by brushing it carefully.  Slice then put it into the oil with some basil leaves.
In a pan with little oil sauté the garlic.  Add the desalted chopped anchovy and allow to dissolve. Remove the garlic and add a ladle of pasta cooking liquid.

In a large casserole, cook the pasta in boiling salted water.  Drain the spaghetti while still “al dente”. Toss in the anchovy sauce and then add a little of the truffle crushed in oil. Flavor with the basil, sprinkle with a little oil and decorate with slivers of black truffle and fresh basil.

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ps I apologise for the quality of some on these photos, but the actual hunting was so so fast.

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