About a week ago, on a shopping expedition to Waitrose for an epic Orchard Cottage BBQ, Tim asked if I felt like having an indulgent lunch? Um, OK. And so, the tiny bottle of “Olive Oil Infused With White Truffles” (£4.69 per 100mL) fell into our basket, and life has never been the same.
That afternoon Tim made a delicious, yet very simple dish of tagliatelle tossed with fresh spinach, porcini mushrooms, butter, white truffle oil, parmesan cheese, and a bit of freshly ground black pepper. Served with a glass of white wine, it was truly one of the most special lunches I’ve ever had. (And also one of the most nap-inducing.)
The only unfortunate thing about the truffle oil is that it had a pesky lid that didn’t seal well. And so, Tim had no choice but to leave the oil behind. So it sits on my countertop and every time I see it, I feel transported back tot hat happey lunch, and my mind starts wondering what other foods would go well with it. Eggs? Asparagus? Risotto? More pasta?
Somehow, amid all this musing and mushrooming, a craving surged for a dish that I can only equate to a hybrid between Tim’s dish and a vegetarian carbonara. It all came together on Saturday in a simple, quick pasta dish that may become my new favourite go-to lunch (while the truffle oil lasts). It’s a simple combination of pasta, egg, garlic, truffle oil, parmesan and greens. Asparagus worked really well in this – a generally delicious pairing for eggs and mushrooms. But this would also be amazing with spinach or chard. You could also up the mushroom factor with some porcini mushrooms, but I like the simplicity of this as it stands. The flavour of the egg and asparagus really come through, and are subtly lifted by the delicate flavour of the truffle oil.
Before I proceed to the recipe, a quick point on health: pasta often gets a bad wrap but it’s really not a terrible food, no worse – and often better – than bread. Its poor reputation stems from our compulsion to eat massive quantities of pasta in one sitting (we’ve all been there, admit it). However, this dish goes easy on the pasta, and gets pumped up with lots of delicious green veg and of course, gorgeously creamy eggs (from happy hens!). The primary sources of fat are olive oil, egg, and parmesan – all good things. The result is a well-balanced meal that, in my opinion, is practically a health food.