Pasta with White Truffles

James Beard

Author and Educator

In his 1965 book, Menus for Entertaining, James Beard included this decadent pasta dish as a second course in a menu entitled "A Deliciously Rich Dinner for 8," followed by chicken with Madeira and served with a Valpolicella. When the book was reprinted a decade ago, the editor's note read, "The current (1996) price of canned white truffles is $25.00 an ounce. You may want to substitute a less impressive but less costly pasta tossed with sautéed sliced mushrooms and minced shallots and sprinkled with chopped parsley." You could also shave fresh white truffles (an ounce would suffice) atop the noodles. At the 2007 retail price of $5,000 a pound, that would make this simple pasta part of a truly "rich dinner."


  • 1 pound noodles, either white or green
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 8 ounces canned white truffles


Boil noodles in plenty of salted water until just tender. (If you add a couple of spoonfuls of oil to the pot, the noodles will not stick together.) Drain and toss with the butter. Serve and top with freshly grated truffles, and spoon truffle liquid over pasta if you wish.


8 servings