I went to Italy last month – hold up – you didn’t know?! You haven’t seen my 89485948 pics?! Haha!
I visited Italy with my family when I was 6 years old, and although it was a beautiful country then as it is now, we didn’t exactly have a ‘beautiful’ experience. We experienced quite a bit of discrimination because of the color of our skin – weird, eh? So I was left with a very bad taste in my mouth at a very young age. That being said, I was hesitant to travel to Italy this time, but figured I’d give it a shot. One of my good friends had been living in Bologna, and obviously my foodie 6th senses perked up.
Bologna is among some of the foodiest cities in Italy, next to Modena and Parma. I ate my way through Bologna and made my way down to the Amalfi Coast cities. Let me mention at this point – I did not face any discrimination. Italian thought I was either Spanish (Espanola) or Sicilian or just didn’t know, haha!
In Sorrento, we discovered a delicious store that specialized in products of Umbria. Some of Umbria’s specialties include truffles, and black truffles were in season for the summer. So obviously I had to buy some! What I really wanted to do was shave them in my mouth, but I decided to act like a civilized human being, buy a jar and leave.
Truffles are generally very strong, but these fresh truffles are very fragrant – have a subtle truffle flavor, softer texture, and are just all around delicious. I decided to make a simple orzo with these.
- 1/2 cup orzo
- 1-2 cups boiling water
- PAM Olive Oil Flavor
- 1 lemon – juice squeezed, half of it zested
- 1/4 good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp red crushed pepper (or more to taste)
- tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic – finely minced
- 1 tsp honey/agave
- 1 fresh black summer truffle – thinly sliced, using a sharp knife or truffle shaver
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, add in all of the ingredients except for the olive oil. Whisk together. While slowly whisking, pour in the olive oil until dressing is emulsified and combined.
3. Once the orzo is al dente, strain out the water (but save it!) and place the cooked orzo directly in the bowl of dressing, add in a couple of slices of truffle, and lemon zest and toss to coat. Taste for salt.
4. Serve on its own, with toasted ciabatta, or over arugula!