Anne's Blog

Support Norcia: Eat Black Truffles!

Date: January 11, 2019 - categories: , , , , - Leave your thoughts

To tell the truth, Pino didn’t order the homemade tagliatelle al tartufo nero to support Norcia’s post-quake economy but just because he loves truffles! At lunchtime, during our  early January visit to Norcia, we found a favorite restaurant closed. A local recommended Il Tartufo just opposite a scaffolded medieval arch (damaged in the late October 2016 earthquake) and near the farmacia, now in a pre-fab.

After owner/host Franco took our order, he and Pino talked about the Norcia earthquake challenges. Franco showed us a photo of their restaurant in the centro storico, closed now until restoration resurrects it. He and his family can make a living in their pre-fab restaurant as theirs is now one of only four in Norcia: there were once fifteen restaurants.


While they chatted,  Signor Franco gave me permission to pop into the kitchen where his wife Marianna was preparing our bruschette…..

…..the classic, simple aglio/olio (garlic and olive oil) bruschetta  for Pino and  bruschetta topped with freshly-ground Norcia black truffle for me, Norcia prosciutto on the side:

Franco knows that some enjoy a generous rub of garlic on their bruschetta and others might wish a light film or none at all, so at Il Tartufo,  garlic is served on the side:

Pino gave his toasted bread a good rub of garlic:


My  bruschetta al tartufo nero was perfetto,  thanks to Marianna:


Enticements on the menu were many.  Pino did not hesitate on his choice of tagliatelle al tartufo and I decided to try the cappelli con fave e pecorino (hats with fava beans and pecorino cheese”).  Those huge ravioli made with a cream of fava beans in the dough and stuffed with sheep’s milk cheese were buonissimi.

For un secondo,  Pino’s choice could be only one: arrosticini (literally, “little roasted ones,” ie, skewered lamb tidbits):

I skipped the secondo  and chose a side dish of grilled vegetables served by smiling young Vlad…

…and topped by Pino with a drizzle of an excellent local extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar:


Truffles had starred for our lunch but although there were three choices of gelato with a truffle touch on the menu, we chose to share a crema catalana (crème brûlée):

As we finished our feast,  ebullient young workers at a table near us wished us a “Buon Anno Nuovo.”

…..and may this be a Happy New Year for the norcini, too:   restoration is due to start this spring.

Read about another great spot for truffles – and not only! -in Norcia

Click here to read about other adventures during this January visit to Norcia

Read about Norcia’s earthquake devastation

Read about Assisi’s solidarity with earthquaked Norcia

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