The white truffle grows happily in the mountainous woods of Piedmont, where seeking them out is very big business indeed. Once there must have been a time when it was a simple natural food resource like berries and wild mushrooms. In the area around Alba, it is especially popular and many families spend happy hours with their dogs seeking out the tubers for household use. They are always used simply. If you cannot find a fresh truffle, make the black truffle recipe instead.
Beat the eggs, then grate the truffle in incredibly thin slices into the bowl using a truffle or cheese grater – it should almost be shaved! Add cheese and salt and pepper and beat again.
Heat the butter and oil in a heavy omelette pan until sizzling, then pour in the egg mixture. Cook the omelette until the underneath is crisp and golden. Turn the egg and truffle mixture out on to a plate or lid. Slide it back into the pan the other way up and cook until golden on the other side, making sure that the centre of the omelette stays slightly runny. Serve hot or cold.
© 1995 Valentina Harris. All rights reserved.