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.
Tagliatelle with Asparagus & White Truffle Oil
Inspired by Tim’s adaptation of the recipe printed on the bottle of Urbani Tartufi Olive Oil Infused with White Truffles. It’s a well-rounded, one pot meal that cooks in just a bit more time than it takes to make pasta (so really really fast if you’re using fresh pasta). You can basically add any vegetable you want to this – spinach, chard, peas, etc. I add chilli flakes, as well, but I’m a chilli fiend. The recipe shown serves one Monica-sized (i.e. small) person so fellas, you’ll probably want to double all the ingredients to make this a man-sized meal. Also, I cook the garlic in white wine and butter; you could just as easily do this in olive oil, or omit the white wine if you don’t have it around.
Prep Time: 0 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes (depending on pasta cooking time)
- 100g fresh tagliatelle (or other pasta; use more to suite your appetite)
- 1 egg
- a splash of milk
- 6 asparagus spears, ends trimed and cut in half
- 1 clove of garlic
- a bit of butter
- parmesan to taste
- a splash of white wine
- white truffle oil
- red chili flakes (optional)
- salt and fresh ground pepper
Cook the pasta in salted water according to the package instructions.
Meanwhile, in a small pan melt some butter and add the garlic and white wine. Cook until the garlic is soft and the wine is evaporated. Remove from heat.
Whisk the egg and milk together in a bowl and set aside.
As the pasta finishes cooking, add the asparagus do the boiling water, then drain the lot.
Return the pasta to its pan and put on a medium heat. Add the egg, chilli flakes, a pinch of salt and a good drizzle of truffle oil. Mix everything in the pan until the egg has cooked.
Serve hot garnished with parmesan cheese and fresh ground pepper.
Per serving: 526 Calories | 18 grams Fat | 63 grams Carbohydrates | 30 grams Protein | 3 grams Fiber