A Dash of Istria in Your Plate – Traditional Istrian Pasta With Truffles
A lump worth the price of gold, the truffle, is an underground mushroom mostly found beneath the fertile soil of the dark dense oak forests of northern Istria. The so-called ‘Truffle Capital’ – the Motovun Forest with a special microclimate favourable to the growth of truffles is located near the small medieval town of Motovun. Truffles were very appreciated by the Romans who believed them to be the result of God Jupiter striking an oak tree with a bolt of lightning.
The Mediterranean climate in the forests provides a perfect environment for the truffles to grow. There are three types of Istrian truffles: the white truffle – the most expensive one, and two types of black truffle. They are found by experienced truffle hunters with the help of trained dogs or sometimes domestic pigs. You can join a truffle hunt near Motovun, guided by an experienced local truffle hunter, and enjoy the fresh air of the forest.
Istrian fuži is one of the most popular varieties of pasta in Istria. Its shape allows for every bite to be special, because of the hollow centre which fills with the delicious sauce.
- 350 g flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp white wine
- 150 ml water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1dl broth
Make the dough by mixing flour, eggs, oil and a little bit of warm salted water. Once the dough comes together, it should be soft and easy to roll. On a surface sprinkled with flour, roll out the dough as thin as possible, and then cut out small squares (ca. 4×4 cm). To make the shape of traditional fuži, take the opposite corners of the square and fold them in the centre. Once all of the fuži have been shaped, let them dry a bit on a surface sprinkled with flour. Cook them in salted water, just as regular pasta, for about 5 min.
Once you rinse the pasta, pour it into a pot with melted butter and mix until it gets coated in butter (keep the pasta warm). In another pan, melt a tablespoon of butter and add grated truffles, salt and pepper to taste, pour in 1 dl of broth or water and let it come to a light boil. Pour the sauce over the pasta and mix to combine, then serve topped with shredded parmesan cheese and grate some more truffles on top.
You will definitely fall in love with this traditional specialty. Try and make it yourself and spoil all your senses!
If you don’t feel like doing it yourself, you can taste different variations of the dish in one of the Valamar restaurants…