Truffle Oil Pasta

from Umberto's

This fantastic recipe came from the restaurant Umberto in Whistler Village. It was an incredible dinner.

When Nancy asked for a bit more of the sauce the kitchen responded with a gravy boat full of it. In the end we all poured it all over everything we had. I think Nancy was close to bathing in it.

The chef was good enough to give us a list of ingredients. I've made it several times and this recipe is the best I've been able to do so far.

12/31/2007 Update: Made it again for New Year's Eve and it was a hit with everyone. This year black truffles were incredibly expensive, so I used a black truffle pate from Whole Foods - I should have used more of it. Our crowd contained some vegetarians so I used vegetable
broth and the finished product lacked some of the richness.

I wrote to Umberto's to thank them; read my letter below the recipe.

Time: 60 minutes, most work can be done ahead.
Difficulty: Easy
Cost: Expensive
Serves: 4-6

A. butter, clarified 0.25 pound Melted and the solids removed. Just the liquid fat.
shallots 5 medium Coarsely chopped.

Combine the butter and shallots in a large skillet and sauté over high heat until shallots are well browned. Stir often. Don't burn them! But the browner the better. This takes some time.

B. black truffle 1 Chopped coarsely.
red wine vinegar 3 tablespoons  
chicken broth, unsalted 7 ounces Half a can.

Put the sautéed shallots in a blender. Add these ingredients.

Whirl until smooth.

Pour the mixture back into the skillet and simmer until reduced by half. At this point you can cool the sauce and keep it for several hours in the refrigerator.

C. chicken broth, unsalted 7 ounces The other half of the can.
cream 0.5 cup  

Add the rest of the chicken broth, the cream and simmer until reduced by half again.

D. balsamic vinegar 3 tablespoons Use a good vinegar.
black truffle oil 1 teaspoon  

Remove from heat and add the balsamic vinegar and truffle oil.

Serve over fresh pasta.

I also sent Umberto's an email of thanks:


Years ago I was a skier. Perhaps it was ten years ago that I was in Whistler with a ski club from Silicon Valley. We ate a most remarkable dinner at Umberto's. At our table of 15, one woman had pasta with a black truffle sauce. She found the sauce so incredible that she asked for just a little bit more; our waiter returned with a gravy boat full.

She poured it liberally on her pasta and vegetables. Then someone else tried a taste and flooded their own plate in response. An excitement shook that table as everyone poured this sauce over everything they had left to eat. Pure beauty.

We were too loud and eventually the chef came to our table. We peppered him with questions until he relented and told us how to make the sauce.

I've kept that recipe ever since. I've probably made the sauce ten times now. Each time my guests are amazed at the perfect combination of flavors. Last night I had 10 people over for New Year's Eve dinner. The main course was pasta with Umberto's black truffle sauce. Again, everyone raved about the dish.

I just wanted to say, "thank you" for providing me so many years of outstanding entertainment. One day I'll return to Whistler. My great dilemma will be whether to sate my palate with your perfect truffle sauce, looking for one more secret to the preparation, or should I dine on something else, hoping to find another recipe to steal? I look forward to figuring this out.

Best Regards in the new year,