I love truffles.  Whether it’s a drizzle of truffle oil or a sprinkle of truffle powder on my scrambled eggs, or truffle pâté on a canapé, sliced truffle in a pasta sauce, or, heaven of heavens, truffle honey with cheese…I love it.

So what is a truffle? 

The truffle is a hypogeous fungus, which means that it grows underground in symbiosis with tree roots. Mainly composed of an outer part called the peridium, it can vary in consistency and colour depending on the truffle variety. Inside the peridium is the gleba, a compact, marbled mass, rich in small tubercles and veins.

However, in general, the truffle is known for its intense and penetrating aroma, which may be reminiscent of damp earth, mushrooms or herbs, depending on the variety. Its flavour is complex and unique, often described as earthy, musky and slightly nutty.

In the kitchen, it’s prized for its ability to enrich dishes with its wonderful flavour.  The intoxicating aroma when grated over a hot dish, followed by the flavour is extraordinary. 

The History of Truffles

The truffle has a long history rooted in antiquity.

It’s been appreciated since Roman times and by the ancient Greeks, who considered it a gift from the gods and used it both in cooking and for medicinal purposes.

During the Middle Ages, the truffle continued to be considered a prized foodstuff and was often used as a bargaining chip between nobles and feudal lords. However, its status as a gastronomic delicacy became even more apparent during this period.

In the Renaissance, the truffle reached its peak of popularity, becoming a favourite ingredient of European royal courts and nobles. It was often served at sumptuous banquets and considered a symbol of wealth and social status. 

Over the following centuries, the truffle went through periods of decline, often due to deforestation and loss of natural habitats. However, in the 19th century, thanks to conservation efforts and growing gastronomic interest, the truffle experienced a renaissance.

Today, the truffle is still considered a gastronomic treasure and a symbol of luxury. Its most prized varieties, such as the white truffle and the black truffle, are sought and harvested by expert truffle hunters and are admired and used by top chefs around the world.

La Rustichella Truffles:

In 1948, Sergio Brugnoli, founder of La Rustichella, was born in Norcia (Umbria), one of the most renowned areas for truffle gathering.

His personality, professional skills and love for different cultures generated an entrepreneur whose passionate approach to life, respect for the land and loyalty to tradition, materialised in a dream: to create the best truffle pâté in the world.  In 1986 he and his wife Maria founded La Rustichella.

Today, the company has conquered many world markets and the next generation is continuing its growth

There are four main varieties:  Alba; White; Summer Black and Norcia, collected at different times of the year, from June till end of April.

I was fortunate enough to discover La Rustichella earlier this year, when I was invited to a superb dinner that showcased the range. I had the opportunity to taste so many delicious dishes, including, surprisingly, the most delicious desserts that contained truffles.

If you’re a fan of truffles, do have a look at the website here where you can explore the range and shop online. 

The company’s products are also available from Amazon. 

Here are a few  recipes from its website: the mayo is perfect for those summer meals we’re all looking forward to!



Serves 4 (takes 20 mins to make)

2 eggs

50g La Rustichella Black Truffle Pâté

25g La Rustichella Black Truffle Oil

300g sunflower oil

Salt and pepper, to taste



1) Break the eggs in a glass, add the truffle oil and sunflower oil and with an immersion blender blend from the bottom up.

2) When the emulsion is formed, add salt, pepper, and black truffle paté. Stir and serve.



Serves 4 (takes 20 mins to make)

60g butter

40g ‘00 flour

800ml milk

20g cheddar cheese, grated

100g parmesan cheese, grated

Nutmeg, grated

80g La Rustichella Black Truffle Pâté

400g short pasta


Salt and pepper to taste


1) In a saucepan, make a béchamel sauce with the butter, flour, and the milk; add the grated cheddar, Parmesan cheese, pepper, nutmeg, salt and the truffle pâté.

2) Heat another saucepan with plenty of salted water, cook the pasta, drain it and pour it into a bowl with the cheddar béchamel. Mix.

3) Grease a baking pan, pour the pasta on top and sprinkle the surface with breadcrumbs and put in the oven at 180℃, until a golden crust forms on the surface (about 20 minutes).

4) Remove from the oven and serve.


Serves 4. (takes an hour)

1 onion, peeled and diced
60g butter
100ml white wine
320g carnaroli rice
1.5ltr vegetable broth, boiled
80g parmesan cheese, grated
100g La Rustichella Black Truffle Pâté
Salt and pepper, to taste

160g parmesan cheese, grated
4g La Rustichella Black Truffle Powder


1) First make the risotto. Cook the onion in a little butter and blend with some white wine. Allow to evaporate completely.
2) In a separate pan cook the rice with the rest of the butter and then combine with the cooked onion.
3) Pour in the boiling broth, and let it simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring minute by minute to prevent the rice from sticking.
4) Remove from heat and tip in the parmesan and truffle pâté. Season to taste.
5) Preheat the oven to 180℃. To make the waffles, cut 4 sheets of parchment paper, and place each 20g of Parmesan cheese in heaped spoonfuls on the sheets. Spread out the cheese into a circular shape and sprinkle with the truffle powder. Bake in the oven for a few minutes until the edges of the waffles start to brown.
6) Remove from the oven, and shape into round bowls whilst still hot, let cool for 10 minutes.
7) Take the waffle bowl and place it in the centre of a plate, fill it with the risotto and serve.