Makes:4 servings as a main course, 6 as a starter
Fresh black truffles are expensive. So to get the most mileage out of them, we finely chop some into the sauce here. Top the finished pasta with the remaining truffles, thinly shaved.
What to buy: Fresh pasta is ideal in this recipe because it soaks up the sauce readily and has a soft, supple texture. If you’re using dried pasta, reduce the amount to 12 ounces.
Fresh truffles are available from the end of December through the end of February and can be purchased at gourmet grocers or online. Truffles packed in jars are a less expensive substitute, but don’t purchase ones that are packed in oil, because their texture is softer and their flavor less aromatic.
Special equipment: The pros use a small slicer to thinly shave fresh truffles. You can also use a mandoline or a sharp knife.
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1 pound fresh fettuccine or tagliatelle pasta
2/3 cup finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese (about 2 ounces)
Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil over high heat.
Finely chop half of the truffles; set aside.
Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan over medium heat until the butter foams. Add the chopped truffles, anchovies, garlic, red pepper flakes, and measured black pepper and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside.
Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook until it’s al dente, about 2 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the pasta directly to the reserved frying pan. Set it over medium heat, add 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, and toss until the sauce thickens slightly and the pasta is coated, adding more pasta water by the tablespoon to reach the desired sauce consistency.
Remove the pan from the heat, add the cheese, and toss until the pasta is well coated. Taste and season with additional salt and black pepper as needed. Divide the pasta among 4 or 6 serving bowls and thinly shave or slice the remaining truffles over the pasta. Serve immediately.