Chef Manolo Allochis of restaurant Il Vigneto located in Ravinali right in heart of Langhe remembers spending all the spare cash from what he earned during the holidays to eat at the best restaurants. He traveled 100 to 150 kilometers to reach his destination on occasion.
Being so close to Alba, capital of the white truffle, shows in the menu selections.
With that in mind, I opted to share the following recipe, Alta Langa potato gnocchi filled with runny quail’s egg and served with butter and white Alba truffle:
Ingredients for 4 people
Preparation time: 45‘
16 quail’s eggs
2.5 lb (1.2 kg) potatoes from Alta Langa
2 cups (300 g) all-purpose flour
2 whole eggs
2 tablespoons (30 g) butter, softened
1⁄3 cup (40 g) grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons (50 g) butter
2 tablespoons (50 g) beef stock
2 oz (60 g) white Alba truffle (Tuber Magnatum Pico)
Break the quail’s eggs and beat well. Pour the beaten eggs into the plastic trays they came in (so that they form half-spheres of egg). Freeze for a couple of hours.
Boil the potatoes in their skins in plenty of salted water. Peel and mash them with a potato masher or fork on a wooden surface, mixing them with the remaining ingredients to make the gnocchi.
Divide the mixture into shapes that are slightly smaller than ping pong balls. Insert half a ball of frozen egg in each gnocco and smooth over with the mixture so that the egg isn’t on the outside.
Cook the gnocchi in plenty of salted water until they rise to the surface. Wait a couple of minutes before draining them.
Toss the gnocchi in the pan with the butter and beef stock.
Serve four gnocchi per portion, keeping them soft with some of the cooking juices. Finish the dish by grating with plenty of white truffle.
Barbera d'Alba 2006 – Red
Winery: Ermanno Costa, Cascina Spagnolo, San Defendente – Canale d’Alba (CN)
(* Recipe and photo from Italy's Great Chefs and their Secrets (2010), reproduced courtesy of White Star Publishers, all rights reserved...Photos by Luigi Rossi)