The pairing of porcini mushrooms and black truffle together with tomato and chilli to make a sauce that contains the most classic flavors of the Italian culinary tradition.

The main ingredients of the pasta with porcini mushrooms and truffles

Porcini are among the most popular edible mushrooms, the truffle is a highly prized underground mushroom, that is a mushroom whose fruiting body (carpophore) develops underground. Porcino is the common name in which some species of mushrooms of the genus Boletus are included, from a product point of view it is attributed to four species of the genus Boletus belonging to the edules section and belonging to the Boletus edulis. The other three species of porcini are: Boletus aereus, Boletus aestivalis, Boletus pinophilus.

These mushrooms are symbiotic, that is, they establish a mutualistic relationship with other living beings. In particular, the boletus draws nourishment from the secondary roots of some trees, in the plains you can find them in the oak and chestnut woods, in the high mountains in the beech and fir woods. The differences in taste between the four species of porcini are minimal, in general it is said that aerus and aestivalis are a little more fragrant but have less firm flesh, while edulis and pinophilus are more suitable to be preserved in oil because of this greater texture of the meat.

The truffle exists in the highly prized white variety and in the almost equally prized black variety, but beware there is also a black summer truffle, commonly called scorzone which is much, much less valuable. In fact, it is not even correct to call it black truffle, the true black truffle is tuber melanosporum, while scorzone is another species called tuber aestivum.

The reason why the truffle is so expensive is simply that the demand far exceeds the supply because it is relatively rare (black is a little more common than the very rare white ) as the growth is linked to environmental and seasonal factors which in certain years make them even rarer.

How to use our preparation for pasta with porcini and truffle

Pour two teaspoons of product into a pan with extra virgin olive oil and fry for a few minutes. Cook the pasta, once ready, drain and toss in the pan with the sauce obtained. Serve piping hot with a sprinkling of Parmesan. The preparation is excellent with any type of pasta but also goes perfectly with fettuccine and tonnarelli. Also excellent for a fragrant risotto, in this case, however, after having fried the preparation, you will have to add the raw rice, let it toast for a few seconds, and then add some broth, a ladle at a time, stirring frequently, until cooked.

Curiosities about porcini mushrooms and truffles

The truffle was already known in the ancient world, the first certain information we find in Pliny the Elder's Naturalis Historia. The Greek philosopher Plutarch of Chaeronea is responsible for the belief that they were born from the combined action of water, heat and lightning, the poet Juvenal therefore invented a beautiful story according to which Jupiter would have thrown lightning at the foot of an oak (tree sacred to the god) and thus the truffle was born.

Have you ever wondered why the truffle has such a penetrating smell when it is ripe? The truffle is hidden underground but in order to reproduce it needs wild animals to spread its spores, so it needs to attract them and be found.

The cultivation of truffles is in an embryonic state in Italy and France, but so far with the most prized white truffle good results have not been achieved, with black it goes a little better but still there is no production that would have a calming effect on prices.

The collection of truffles in Italy is free but regulated, only nine species can be marketed: Precious White Truffle, Precious Black Truffle, Black Summer Truffle or Scorzone, Black Uncinato Truffle, Tartufo Winter Black or Black Trifola, Moscato Truffle, Bianchetto or Marzuolo Truffle, Smooth Black Truffle, Ordinary Black Truffle. In addition, some common rules are identified, including the prohibition of harvesting by hoeing, weeding and plowing which is also severely punished because it kills the fungus and the ban on the use of pigs for research because they do a lot of damage.

The truffle is rarely sold fresh and whole, exorbitant price apart on the one hand the precious mushroom deteriorates easily therefore betweentransport and storage are complicated, on the other hand it lends itself very well to being processed to obtain a great variety of products and a minimum amount is enough to flavor a dish.

The name porcino is the translation of the Latin suillus which is how the ancient Romans called the porcini and it means just what you think, they referred to the stocky and massive appearance that resembles that of the pig.

According to tradition the ancient Mycenae owes its name to mushrooms, perhaps you know that species in scientific terminology refers to mushrooms with the term fungi, this derives from the Greek mykes, according to the legend the similarity with the name of the city would not be a coincidence, it was the hero Perseus who escaped death from thirst thanks to the water collected in the hat of a mushroom and so named the city out of gratitude.


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