Brillat-Savarin called them “the diamonds of the kitchen.” Exotic, heady and perfumed with hints of garlic and spices, white truffles are truly gems of the earth.
They are traditionally uncovered by specially trained dogs in Northern Italy throughout the fall. Piedmont (specifically Alba) is the epicenter for white truffles, but these delicacies are also found in Tuscany, Abruzzo and along the Istrian Coast in Croatia. Because of its rarity and short season, the white variety of this exotic tuber is far more expensive than the black, with wholesale prices averaging $3,000 per pound in the United States.
No need to head to Alba to savor the precious truffles. Chef-owner Gianfranco Loreti of Ristorante Ciao in Naples imports truffles from Italy to create aromatic dishes such as Risotto Al Tartufo Bianco (arborio rice with porcini topped with shaved white truffles) and Sacchettini Al Tartufo Bianco (pasta pouches filled with ricotta and chopped pear blanketed with Alfredo sauce and dotted with shaved white truffles). Magnifico!
- Chef Gianfranco Loreti of Ristorante Ciao shares his recipes for Risotto Al Tartufo Bianco and Sacchettini Al Tartufo Bianco here.