Early in the morning our group headed out to Citta di Castello for a Truffle hunt. We met our truffle hunter Severio and his interpreter Dawn in the beautiful village of Cisterna.
We were taken to a forested area, and our dog "pipo" was set loose to find truffles. I've done truffle hunts before and this was fun, since the dog and his owner were such great pals, and the dog was finding plenty of truffles for our group.
|You can see there is a gate here that is locked at all times; Severio leases the land from an elderly farmer|
We were taken back to Severio's house and his wife Gabriella gave us a cooking class, in perfect English. She is a gifted home cook, and teacher. She has been 'living' with truffles for most of her life, and has found ingenious ways to use them. Severio and Gabriella also have a tiny truffle museum where we found truffle digging tools, and other artifacts.
|With the tables set for lunch, we knew we were in for a treat!|
|Selections of crostini, l to r, black truffle, white truffle, arugula, and sun dried tomato|
|This is the ONLY way to have deviled eggs--using a bit of truffle oil and garnished with truffles|
|Next up making frascarelli, a tiny egg pasta that will be tossed with olive oil, diced celery and truffles|
|Served like a timbale this is a great starter|
|My favorite was the cheese flan, basically eggs, cream and Pecorino, then topped with truffles, and aged balsamic vinegar.|
|Our main course was chicken or turkey breast, stuffed with truffles |
|The chicken is rolled, then wrapped in 'cling wrap' and boiled for about 20 minutes|
Served with truffled mashed potatoes, and a small salad with balsamic reduction, buonissimo!
|This was one special group, and we had some very special experiences|
|Dr. C. and Jeannie|
When I take people to meet the Italians, it is a revelation after so many trips to cathedrals, and museums, they get to meet and eat with the real treasure of Italy: it's people.
Grazie, Gabriella, Severio and Pipo for an amazing day in your beautiful home. Gabriella and Severio sell their products, and you can be sure that they are made with truffles, not chemically manipulated.
Cheese Flan Gabriella
1/2 cup grated Pecorino or Parmigiano Reggiano
1 cup heavy cream
3 large eggs
Mache salad and aged balsamic vinegar for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and coat the inside of 8 muffin cups or 4-ounce ramekins with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a blender, combine the ingredients, and pour into the muffin cups or ramekins.
- Bake for 15 minutes until set.
- Serve warm on mache, and drizzle with aged balsamic vinegar, or balsamic reduction.
Ciao for now.
Santo Stefano del Piano, 21
Citta di Castello
www.tartufibianconi.it or http://tartufibianconi.com