One of the best dishes we had in Perugia was Penne alla Norcina – penne pasta smothered in a rich cream sauce with crumbled sausage and plentiful shavings of black truffle. It may not be the prettiest dish, but mamma mia is it delicious. Penne alla Norcina is named after the Umbrian town of Norcia, famous for their butchers, and consequently, primo sausage and salami. The surrounding area of Norcia is also one of the largest producers of black truffles. Put two and two together and eccola! One fantastically rich and indulgent dish is born. Ristorante Ferrari, a popular spot along the historical center of Perugia’s main strip, Corso Vannucci, serves an incredible Penne alla Norcina. The flavor combination is sublime, with the savory bits of sausage tasting of wild country terrain playing off the earthiness of the truffle. One taste and it makes sense that these two ingredients are born from the same region. It is as if the flavors themselves reflect a sense of place. Meanwhile, the thick cream draws out and elongates perfume of the prized truffle, and just coats the entire dish in pure luxury.
Via Scura, 1
06121 Perugia, Italy
tel. 075 5722966
Another stellar dish we had at Ferrari was their Maccheroni Gorgonzola. Essentially, mac n’ cheese on steroids. Big tubes of rigatoni pasta in a creamy gorgonzola cheese sauce with shavings of black truffle on top. Super pungent. Super good. While we’re bingeing on tartufo, let’s continue on to Spaghetti Carbonara Tartufo. Oh yes, let’s. The spaghetti is tossed together with beaten eggs, which thickens into a sauce from the heat and starch of the pasta. It is then mixed together with pan-fried bits of guanciale (pig cheeks), and then topped with...you got it, truffle. After all that richness, this gorgeous Insalata Fragole was just what we needed. Sweet summer strawberries tossed in aged balsamic vinegar, over a peppery salad of arugula and garnished with shavings of Parmigiano. A welcome burst of freshness...sweet and tart with a nice spicy bite (not to mention incredibly photogenic). This feast left us nearly comatose, but it was so so worth it.