Dreamlife – Truffle Hunting & Pasta Perfection!
Almost a year ago I was privileged enough to be part of the inaugural event ‘Let’s Blog Abruzzo’ and was invited to be part of a Blog Tour with Italia Sweet Italia. The first day saw us on a Traboccho preparing local specialities and later dining on them. Day 2 we awoke relatively early in search of the elusive delicacy TRUFFLES!!
We met two men most passionate about their part of Abruzzo in the countryside near Lentella and their lives here. The Artist and Land owner of ‘Cultura to Natura’ who is passionate about sharing his experience providing tours for School children and also offering a place for Painting and Sculpture, Ettore Altieri. Ettore also collaborates with Italia Sweet Italia for Truffle Hunting, Apperitivo and Pasta Classes.
His friend Walter and his 4-legged friend Fritz are the Truffle hunting part of the equation. We go for a walk in search of the prized truffles. It’s not as early as is ideal and the weather is a little changeable but within a short amount of time Fritz is on the scent of a truffle and starts to paw at the ground. Walter digs gently at the ground with a specially crafted stick and quickly produces a small truffle. We are in the vicinity of a number of oak trees where truffles occur naturally. We find a few more truffles on our hunt and Fritz is rewarded following each find – we learn two small ones were ‘planted’ for demonstration purposes before our arrival in case we were out of luck but the others found were not.
We return to the house and a nicely laid out apperitivo with homemade wine and ventricino (a local hot preserved sausage specialty), cheeses and olives before heading to make the pasta for pranzo (lunch). Ettore’s mother Carla shows us how to make the pasta dough for Spaghetti alla Chittara – a local pasta so named as the dough is rolled through a frame that resembles a guitar to make a ‘square spaghetti’. The spaghetti is then cooked and mixed with the delicately cleaned and shaved truffles that we found earlier and locally made ricotta.
It’s a wonderful day and our meal follows with more homemade goodies; genziano, rattafia and limoncello are offered as digestive as well as cake. For fun, we also try our hands at making postcards from flowers collected in the garden. Sombrely we get into our cars late afternoon after being poked and prodded that it was time to leave – we had such a perfect afternoon it was very hard to leave!
If you have ever wondered about Truffle Hunting and homemade pasta this is a real treat! Get in touch with Fabrizio and you will have a fantastic time without a doubt!!