Potato & Truffle Purses


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Limoncello and Linen Water

Limoncello and Linen Water

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2012

  • About

I like to use white truffles here. The purses are not hard to make, just a bit time-consuming. You will need a pasta machine to roll out the pasta. You’ll also need long thin ribbons of leek to hold the purses closed. If you can’t get fresh truffle, you can use truffle butter or a few drops of truffle oil. It’s worth noting that truffles vary in strength.



  • 200 g (7 oz/1⅓ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan
  • about 1 tablespoon truffle butter

To Serve

  • 2 outer leek jackets, about 36 cm (14¼ inches) long
  • about 200 g (7 oz) butter
  • a white truffle
  • grated parmesan, to serve


To make the pasta, mix the flour, eggs, olive oil and salt in a bowl until the mixture comes together. Turn out and knead well until you have a lovely soft dough. Cover with a tea towel and leave at room temperature to rest for about half an hour or so.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Boil the potatoes in their skins in boiling salted water until soft. At the same time, drop in the leek jackets and boil for a couple of minutes, until tender. Remove, drain and put aside until cool enough to handle. Peel the potatoes while they are still hot by spiking a fork into each and dragging the skin off with a knife using your other hand. Put in a bowl and mash with a potato masher, adding the parmesan, truffle butter and a little salt and pepper if needed. When the leek jackets have cooled, spread them on a board. Standing up so you can see better, cut them into long thin ribbons, a couple of millimetres (fractions of an inch) wide.

Roll out about one-fifth of the dough, keeping the rest covered with a tea towel so it doesn’t dry out. Feed the rolled dough through the highest setting on a pasta machine. Fold it up again like a book to neaten it and pass it through this setting again. Now pass it through the next setting twice, and so on until you are 3 notches from the finest setting. You can now cut the dough in half to make it more manageable if you like. You want the finished sheet of pasta straight-edged so fold the ends in to straighten, if necessary. Pass through this setting twice, then continue like this until you have used the finest setting and the length of pasta is as wide as the machine allows, with smooth straight edges all around. Proceed with the rest of the dough, keeping the rolled sheets covered with a tea towel so they don’t dry out.

Cut the pasta sheets into squares of about 13 cm (5 inches) and keep covered. Working in batches of 5 or so, put about a tablespoon of filling into the middle of a square. Gently draw up the edges to bunch around the filling, being careful not to squash the pasta ruffles. Tie up using a leek ribbon, wrapping it around twice and then tying a knot gently so it doesn’t snap. Line up the purses on a tray dusted with a little flour while you finish filling the rest. You will have about 20 purses.

Bring a low-sided wide pot of salted water to the boil. Gently lower some of the purses into the water (don’t overcrowd the pot) and simmer for about 5 minutes or until tender. Don’t boil rapidly or they may tear. Remove with a slotted spoon to a warm dish while you cook the rest.

Meanwhile, melt the butter to just pale golden. Serve 3 purses per person in warm wide bowls. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of butter over each bowl, then shave some truffle over the top. Serve at once with a good scattering of parmesan and a grind of pepper.