Tag Archives: black truffles

Wild Mushroom Lasagna with black truffles

Some dishes are carefully planned and executed and others just seem to happen by themselves.  Yesterday was an example of the latter.  Wild mushroom and black truffle lasagna an accident!!  Let me explain.  Several days ago a salesman left some pasta samples from Italy, paper thin sheets of egg pasta, absolutely gorgeous!!  My first comment was I’d like to do a different type of lasagna with this, not really knowing what that might be.  The next day, a local forager came by with beautiful chanterelles, black trumpet mushrooms, some boletes, and one I’ve never heard of, “cinnabar”, a brilliant orange cousin of the golden chanterelle.  The wheels were starting to turn…last night after a long Friday preparing for weddings and keeping the storefront filled with food it all came together.  A quick canvas of the walk-in turned up the perfect amount of bechamel, nice fresh ricotta, and a small wheel of sublime black truffle cheese.  Some fresh thyme, Portobello stems and truffle oil and it was happening. Within minutes onion and chopped mushrooms were sweating on the stove and the ricotta was being whipped with bechamel and grated cheese.  A layer of pasta, a layer of mushroom-cheese mix, and so on…and finally a shower of the sautéed mushrooms on top and bam, in the oven!  I’ve never put together a lasagna so quickly.  There it was and here it is! Just out in the store and going fast!

Risotto Cakes with Italian Fontina & Black Truffles


Risotto Cakes with Italian Fontina and Black Truffles
Richard Erickson, chef Bistro-to-Go, Kingston, New York

The inspirations for this recipe are the savory rice balls of Sicily known as arancine, or “little oranges”, due to their golden crust.  Traditionally they are filled with meat or cheese and eaten as snacks in bars and cafes. Our version omits the filling and we serve the cakes as an appetizer or on top of an array of roasted, steamed, and grilled seasonal vegetables. This version is especially festive for holiday entertaining – we’re making the small ones for our New Year’s Eve party.

4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup each finely diced onion, celery and carrot
2 T butter
1 T olive oil
1 1/4 cup arborio rice
Salt & pepper to taste
1 egg
1 cup grated Fontina
1 cup grated Caciotta al Tartufo (black truffle cheese)
1 cup fine dried bread crumbs
Vegetable or light olive oil for frying

1. Heat the stock. In a separate sauce pan heat the olive oil and butter, add the finely diced vegetables and cook over moderate heat until the onions are transluscent.

2. Add the rice, salt and pepper.  Stir to coat completely, then begin ladling in the warm stock.  Add 1/2 cup at a time stirring and making sure the liquid has been absorbed before adding more. Rice varies so you may need more or less liquid. Unlike a traditional risotto, cook until the rice is soft and creamy all the way through, about 25-30 minutes.

3. Put the cooked rice into a mixing bowl, add the cheese and the egg, mix well and chill.

4. Depending on whether you will be making an appetizer or an entree, you will choose a scoop that will give you either a small (2-3 bite morsel) or a dinner size portion. Form into a patty, roll in the bread crumbs and assemble on a cookie sheet, which can be kept refrigerated until ready to cook.

5. Heat oil in frying pan and cook on each side until golden brown. This can be done ahead and then reheated in the oven on a cookie sheet, which makes a very party friendly appetizer!