We're in Italy to go truffle hunting for some beautiful black summer truffle and the first white truffles! After we're going to make some gnocchi with quail, porcini and truffle. A really great experience, so enjoy guys!
Last month I was in Italy together with my fiancé to visit our wedding venue for next year and we had the amazing opportunity to go truffle hunting. We did this with Gabrielle, Francesco and their dog Rasty. And we were in luck because it was the first day of the white truffle season! There are 6 kinds of truffles we use in the kitchen. White and Burgundy truffles from September to December, winter black truffles from December to early march, bianchetti truffles in February and march and the summer black and white truffles from May to August. This time we went looking for the last black summer truffles and the first white truffles. We quickly found 6 nice summer truffles. They were already quite hard because it has been a very dry summer, but the smell was still incredible. And it may have been a dry summer, but that was definitely not the case today. It was pouring and because of the camera gear we had to find shelter in the car. Francesco showed us some pictures of his dogs and to hear the bond they shares was really incredible. We then decided to drive to a part of the forest where they always find white truffles. After 30 more minutes the rains stopped, and we were good to go. Rasty has been trained from puppy on to track the truffle smell and dig up the truffles. Once he locates a truffle Francesco first smells the soil. He does this to check if the truffle is ripe and ready to be harvested. If the smell isn’t there yet he’ll leave it and come back later to check again. We then found 2 beautiful white truffles. The smell was so strong and flavorful, but unfortunately they were rotten and very soft. So in the end we found a dozen of black summer truffles and now off course I needed to cook something with these beauties! We’re going to cook some delicious gnocchi with quail and porcini. So first the gnocchi. The gnocchi
Start by peeling the potatoes. Now cut them in even pieces. After that transfer them into a pan and cover them with cold water. Add some salt for seasoning and boil to potatoes till cooked. Then drain the cooked potatoes and let them steam for at least 5 minutes. Then use the back of a spoon to press the potatoes through a fine sieve. Do this when still hot. Now mix 500 grams of the mashed potatoes with egg yolks and the flour. Knead this into a nice dough. Then dust your worktop with flour and roll out the dough into thick lines. Now cut the dough into bite size pieces. Then roll the dough on a fork or a gnocchi board to make the traditional gnocchi lines. Meanwhile clean some porcini mushrooms. For this trim the stem of the porcini and then wash them under cold water or in salted water. Then cut them in half and keep them for later. The quail & how to finish the dish First make a small incision in the legs and then snap the joints. Then cut the legs off and do this as well with the bottom part. After that season the quail all around with some salt. Now heat up a frying pan and add a splash of oil. Then start frying the legs and the quail trimmings on the skin side. Now turn them around and add the quail breasts and panfry them all around till golden. Then add a knot of butter together with some sage, rosemary and some cloves of garlic that are cut in half. Now base the quail for a minute or two and then let them rest for at least 5 minutes. Meanwhile boil the gnocchi in some salted water till they start to float. Then drain them and pan fry them in the same pan we just used to pan fry the quail. Once they start to color add the porcini mushrooms. Then season with salt and add a knot of butter. Pan fry till golden on all side. Now take the quails and cut the breasts of the bone. Then plate the gnocchi and grate some parmesan cheese on top. Place the porcini on top together with the quail and the pan fried sage. And then it’s ready to be served, with off course some freshly shaved truffle.