This dish is pure luxury; rich,
creamy and utterly indulgent. A couple of years ago, my boyfriend and I went on
a fabulous cruise around the Mediterranean – this is what I ate on the first
night, all dressed up in a beautiful restaurant, and it was heavenly.
8oz of linguini (or spaghetti)
60g mushrooms – go for a mixture, if you can
Serves between 2 and 4, depending on how hungry you are (adjust the pasta quantities as needed).
First of all, a quick note – truffle oil can be
expensive, so don’t let that put you off making this. Either leave it out, or
you can do what I do and buy olive oil infused with truffle – the flavour’s
nowhere near as intense, but it still does the job and it’s much cheaper.
Peel and dice the onion as finely as possible, then melt
a knob of butter in a saucepan with a splash of olive oil, and get the onion
sizzling gently – you want it to soften and go translucent, rather than turn
brown. Chop the garlic finely and add that. While it’s all sizzling and
smelling good, slice the mushrooms thinly. Melt a little more butter and olive
oil in a frying pan and fry the mushrooms gently until they start to darken in
colour and release liquid, then scoop them out into a bowl, set to one side,
and pour the remaining liquid into the pan with the onion. Add the flour and
white wine and get it bubbling so that it starts to ‘reduce’ – this means that
the water is evaporating and making the sauce thicker. Once it’s reduced by
half, add the vegetable stock, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Simmer this sauce for about ten minutes. While it’s
simmering, boil your pasta. Finally, add the mushrooms, a good sprinkle of
thyme (fresh, if you can get it), plenty of parmesan and a splash of truffle
oil. Once the mushrooms have heated through again, drain the pasta and stir it
through the sauce. Serve up generous platefuls topped with fresh parmesan, and
washed down with glass of crisp white wine – gorgeous.