One of my husband’s never-wavering and absolute loves is white truffles. Fortunately for him, his birthday coincides with the height of the truffle season, and among my gifts to him there is always a tortino di tartufi. It can be very nice, on any ordinary day, to slice truffles on pasta, or a Parmesan risotto, or scaloppine, but in fulfilling a devotee’s longings, nothing does the job so thoroughly as a tortino. It is composed of layers of thin potato slices, Parmesan, truffles, and butter baked in the oven until the topmost layer of cheese melts and forms a crust. What happens is not only that all the aroma of which the truffle is capable expands with overwhelming power but also that it saturates the other ingredients, transubstantiating them into redolent extensions of the truffle itself. A liberal supply of good bread must be available to make sure no precious drop or crumb of flavor is left on the dish.
If one precedes the tortino with a generous platter of cold meats, this recipe could serve four people. A truffle tortino, however, ought not to have to share main billing; our appreciation of it should be favored by, not divided with, other dishes. My husband considers the amount given here barely sufficient for one portion, which, except for a salad of small, tender field greens to bring the event to a cool, clean close, would constitute for him the entire meal. I prefer to begin with a light soup, such as Zuppa Imperiale, Shredded Parsley Frittata Soup, or, from
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