Truffle rigatoni is a rich and indulgent pasta dish featuring rigatoni noodles tossed in a creamy truffle-infused sauce made from scratch. It's easy to make in less than 30 minutes. Enjoy this decadent dish any night of the week.Jump to Recipe
Truffle is a flavor unlike any other. It's rich, earthy, oaky, and nutty. A little bit of truffle goes a long way. You'll notice this recipe only calls for 1 teaspoon of truffle oil and that's because this oil can quickly overpower a dish. It's just enough to where all the ingredients work together cohesively.
What is a Truffle?
A truffle is a type of edible fungi that grows underground close to the roots of certain trees, particularly oak, beech, and hazelnut trees. Truffles are highly prized for their distinctive and intense aroma. They are a delicacy in many cuisines around the world.
Truffle mushrooms come in various species and types, with the most sought-after being the black truffle (Tuber melanosporum) and the white truffle (Tuber magnatum). These truffle varieties are found in different regions and have slightly different flavors and aromas.
Truffles are harvested by specially trained dogs or pigs. Their scent can lead to their location beneath the soil. Once unearthed, truffles are cleaned and carefully handled due to their delicate nature.
Truffles are shaved or grated over dishes to infuse their unique aroma and taste. Truffle oil and truffle-infused products are also popular. Due to their rarity and labor-intensive harvesting process, truffles are considered one of the most expensive and luxurious ingredients in the culinary world.
Why You'll Love Truffle Rigatoni
Indulgent Flavor: Truffle rigatoni has an indulgent and luxurious flavor profile due to the intense aroma and taste of truffles. The earthy, garlicky, and musky notes create a unique and unforgettable experience for your taste buds.
Gourmet Experience: Truffles are considered one of the most sought-after and luxurious ingredients in the culinary world. This truffle rigatoni will definitely impress guests.
Texture Contrast: Rigatoni, with its large and ridged shape, provides an excellent texture contrast to the creamy truffle-infused sauce. The sauce clings to the pasta, ensuring each bite is packed with flavor.
Versatile Pairing: Truffle cream rigatoni pairs well with a variety of ingredients and flavors. You can customize the dish by adding ingredients like mushrooms, fresh herbs, or even seafood for a diverse taste profile.
Restaurant-Quality at Home: Making truffle rigatoni at home allows you to enjoy a restaurant-quality dish without the need to dine out. You can impress guests or indulge in a gourmet experience right in your own kitchen.
Rigatoni - This ridges in this pasta make it super easy for the robust cream sauce to stick.
Unsalted Butter - Used to make the roux and sauté the garlic. You can use salted butter but be sure to reduce the amount of salt added later.
Garlic - Fresh minced garlic is going to provide the best flavor.
Flour - To make the roux which helps thicken the sauce.
Milk - For the creaminess. You can use any milk you have on hand. I've made this with 2% milk and unsweetened original almond milk. Both ways have worked just fine.
Chicken Broth - For added flavor and an important ingredient to make the sauce. Water or unsalted chicken broth can be used.
Parmesan Cheese - Freshly grated parmesan will be best for this recipe. It has sharp flavor and melts in the cream sauce nicely.
Truffle Oil - There are quite a few ways to incorporate truffle into this creamy pasta dish. I used a white truffle infused olive oil. Curious about the differences between black and white? We will get more into that later.
Fresh Thyme - Fresh herbs are a great way to garnish. They add color and a brightness of flavor.
Salt and Black Pepper - To enhance the flavors of the other ingredients.
Black or White Truffles?
Black and white truffles are two of the most prized and sought-after varieties of truffles, each with distinct characteristics in terms of flavor, aroma, and appearance. The type you choose for this recipe is completely your preference. Not sure how to choose? Below are a few points that may help you decide.
Aroma and Flavor:
- Black Truffles: Black truffles have an intense and complex aroma that is often described as earthy, musky, and reminiscent of chocolate, undergrowth, and spices. The flavor is robust and can be slightly nutty.
- White Truffles: White truffles have an incredibly powerful and distinct aroma that is often compared to garlic, shallots, and even hints of honey. Their flavor is pungent and garlicky, yet delicate and nuanced.
- Black Truffles: Black truffles are often cooked, and their flavor is enhanced when exposed to heat. They are commonly used in cooked dishes such as sauces, soups, and braises.
- White Truffles: White truffles are usually used raw and are shaved or grated over dishes just before serving. Their delicate flavor and aroma can be lost when exposed to high heat.
- White Truffles: White truffles tend to be more expensive than black truffles due to their strong aroma, limited availability, and high demand.
How to Make Truffle Rigatoni
Step 1. Cook the rigatoni according to the package directions.
Step 2. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat until completely melted. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. About 1-2 minutes.
Step 3. Stir in flour and until the garlic is coated and the oil has been absorbed.
Step 4. Slowly stir in the milk ensuring you don't have any lumps. Then add the chicken broth.
Step 5. Bring the chicken broth and milk to a simmer and cook for about 4-5 minutes or until reduced by half.
Step 6. Once the sauce is reduced, slowly stir in the freshly grated parmesan cheese, fresh thyme, and truffle oil until well combined. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Step 7. Stir in the rigatoni with the truffle cream sauce until well combined. Garnish with more fresh thyme then serve immediately.
Must Try Variations
While you can make this truffle pasta recipe as is, I recommend that you have fun with it and jazz it up a little. See what you have on hand already and incorporate those items into this delicious pasta dish. Below are a few of my favorite ways to make the truffle rigatoni.
Mushroom Medley: Enhance the earthy truffle flavor by adding a variety of sautéed mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms, to the rigatoni. This mushroom and truffle pasta adds extra texture and depth to the dish.
Herb Infusion: Infuse the dish with even more fresh herbs. Try adding rosemary, or parsley along with or instead of the thyme to complement the truffle aroma.
Seafood Elegance: Add cooked and diced lobster, shrimp, or crab meat to the truffle rigatoni for an elegant seafood variation. The delicate flavors of seafood complement the truffle notes beautifully.
Spinach and Artichoke: Keep it vegetarian and incorporate sautéed spinach and artichoke hearts to the rigatoni for a balanced and flavorful combination. The vegetables add a touch of freshness and color.
Balsamic Reduction: Drizzle a balsamic reduction over the truffle rigatoni when done for a tangy-sweet contrast. The balsamic reduction enhances the overall flavor complexity.
What to Serve with Truffle Rigatoni
Simple Green Salad: A light and refreshing green salad with mixed greens, arugula, or spinach can provide a balanced contrast to the richness of the truffle rigatoni.
Garlic Bread: Serve slices of warm garlic bread for dipping into the truffle-infused sauce. The combination of flavors is both satisfying and comforting.
Roasted Vegetables: Roasted vegetables like asparagus, Brussels sprouts, or carrots offer a delightful textural contrast and a touch of earthiness to the truffle mushroom pasta.
Antipasto Platter: Create a Mediterranean-style antipasto platter with cured meats, olives, marinated artichokes, cheeses, and crusty bread. This assortment adds variety and complements the dish.
Caprese Salad: A Caprese salad featuring fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil drizzled with balsamic glaze offers a refreshing and vibrant accompaniment.
Sautéed Spinach: Sautéed spinach with garlic and a squeeze of lemon provides a nutritious and flavorful option that pairs well with the truffle rigatoni.
Wine Pairing: Consider serving a glass of white wine, such as Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, which can complement the truffle flavors and enhance the overall dining experience.
Storing and Reheating
Storage: To store truffle rigatoni, place any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Be sure to let the truffle rigatoni come to room temperature before storing to avoid excess condensation.
Reheating: Microwave the pasta with a damp paper towel over top of the bowl for 30 second increments. Stir and then repeat until the pasta is completely heated through. Add a splash of water or heavy cream if the pasta seems dry during reheating.
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The Best Creamy Truffle Rigatoni
- 1 lb rigatoni
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoons truffle oil
- 1/2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves plus more for garnish
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the rigatoni according to the package directions.
- Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat until completely melted. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. About 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in flour and until the garlic is coated and the oil has been absorbed.
- Slowly stir in the milk ensuring you don't have any lumps. Then add the chicken broth.
- Bring the chicken broth and milk to a simmer and cook for about 4-5 minutes or until reduced by half.
- Once the sauce is reduced, slowly stir in the freshly grated parmesan cheese, fresh thyme, and truffle oil until well combined. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in the rigatoni with the truffle cream sauce until well combined. Garnish with more fresh thyme then serve immediately.