Australian Black truffles season has started! Therefore I decided last week to buy a truffle at work from our very first batch of the season and eat it with gnocchi. I toyed with the idea of making the gnocchi myself, but bought some fresh ones from the deli just in case I was gonna be lazy… and I seem to know myself well, since as the day progressed, all my good intentions of home-made gnocchi flew by the window! Tss tss tss…
This baby comes from Western Australia and is a Black Truffle (Tuber Melanosporum), the equivalent of the French Perigord Black Truffle. It is the only variety we can find at the moment in Australia, except for a small production of White Summer truffles (Black outside, White inside).
For those who have never tasted truffles, they taste like… well, earth. Doesn’t sound too appealing put this way, I know, but their scent is so strong, heady and musky… it’s like nothing else I have ever tasted! It drives pigs crazy, they can’t get enough of the stuff! Humans are crazy about them too, and even a hefty price (between $2,500 – 3,500/kilo) is not enough to deter them.
Here they are, my beautiful pre-made gnocchi…
… and some high quality French Butter (might as well splurge on all the ingredients!)
I start melting the butter in the pan with all the truffle bits leftover from shaving the truffle (I used a vegetable peeler knife).
When the butter is melted and going brown, I stir in the gnocchi I have previously cooked in boiling water for 1 minute or so, so that all the gnocchi are glistening with butter.
I stir them in the pan for a couple of minutes to give them a bit of crisp and plate them.
That’s when I place all the truffle shavings on top of the gnocchi (the more the better!)
A bit of salt, pepper, a nice dose of grated parmesan cheese (truffles and Parmesan get on marvelously well), et voilà!
Even though truffles are dangerous due to their highly addictive character, I would strongly recommend that you taste them at least once in your life: this is as close as food heaven as you will get!
PS: I recently wrote for work a little article about truffles on the online version of the food publication Gourmet Rabbit and they generously offered a prize consisting of the first print issue of Gourmet Rabbit ($16.95), as well as a 1-year subscription ($22.95) to the online publication! To win these prizes, you just have to answer the question below by commenting on this post:
“What are the common name & the scientific latin name of the truffle that can be found in Europe from May to September?”
The first who answers correctly wins!
PPS: Also a big thank you to M. for lending me his beautiful 100mm Macro lens, I know it must have been stressful! 😉