My friend Alessandro recently brought me a heart attack in a gift bag. My arteries and I loved it. He was visiting from Alba, in Piemonte. Alba, of course, is known for its tartufi bianchi (white truffles), and its wine (Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera, and Dolcetto, among others). In Alessandro’s gift bag was half a kilo of Tajarin all’Uovo al Tartufo (truffle flavored tagiolini), which is made with a dozen eggs. Well, let me be more specific: 3 whole eggs and 9 egg yolks! All I needed for perfect meal the next day was a pot of boiling water and a couple of sticks of butter and a cup of grated Grana Padano cheese. Luckily, he also brought me a nice bottled of Dolcetto d’Alba, which supposedly counterbalances cholesterol. (That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it…)
Tajarin is the Piemontese dialect name for tagliolini, the much thinner (1/8 inch or less in width) version of tagliatelle, which is popular throughout northern Italy. In Piemonte, however, the quantity of eggs used to make tajarin could be upwards to 40 per kilo (40 tuorli, or egg yolks). They are often flavored with or covered with truffles and butter. Even plain, however, with butter and Parmigiano, they are delicious!
Check out our wine pairings to complement this recipe.
Make a mound with the flour mixture, add a pinch of salt. Then make a well in the middle in which to put the eggs. Beat the eggs with a fork and then slowly use the fork to incorporate them into the flour. Use your hands to knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth. (Of course, you can use a kitchen mixer with a knead attachment to accomplish the foregoing.) Wrap the dough tightly in plastic and set aside in a cool, dry place for 20-30 minutes.
Cut the dough into 4-6 pieces of equal size, but use only one piece at a time (leaving the remaining dough wrapped in plastic). If you are doing this the old fashion way, with a rolling pin, then roll it out, fold it back several times, and continue this process until thin. Alternatively, pass it through a pasta machine until thin (or until it goes through the second thinnest setting at least twice). Fold the pasta in half and then half again (so they are rolled up) and then cut into desired width (about 1/8 or 1/4 inch) and place on a towel to dry or rack for a couple of hours until ready for use.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Keep warm.
Remove excess flour from the pasta, and cook for about one minute, or until al dente. Drain, but retain some of the cooking water.
Add the pasta to the butter and mix well. Add the grated cheese and truffle shavings.
Serve immediately with remaining truffles.