How could I travel to Italy and not visit the mountain top village of Cortona? I resisted. Truly I did. I didn’t want to be one of those blurry eyed, dreamy looking tourists on a quest to visit a place they’ve read about in a novel or seen on television in a movie.
With a clever grin and knowing eyes, my darling husband kindly dispelled my silly notion by telling me I’d already been walking around for days like a blurry eyed tourist with eyes the size of saucers. Hmmm… and I thought I was being rather cool and collected.
Early one morning, my husband, who is a sport, no – he’s a super sport, kindly obliged my longing to see Cortona. We hopped a train and arrived at the small, more modern town of Camucia Cortona which lies at the bottom of the mountain where Cortona is so beautifully is perched.
Once inside the walls of the medieval city I felt myself becoming the blurry eyed tourist, eyes wide with amazement of this ancient city. The architecture so unique with steep narrow streets and views of the surrounding countryside. Breathtaking.
Ranger Craig and I spent the day walking the steep and narrow streets, talking to the locals, snapping more pictures than I thought was possible, touring the churches and viewing art of the Renaissance. A magical day that ended with food. Actually, I think we ate our way through Cortona. Pasta, soups, salumi, pastry, wine, more wine and then caffe.
One of the most delicious meals I dined on in Italy was in Cortona. A dish of fresh handmade linguine tossed with savoy cabbage in a light wine and butter sauce, topped with shaved truffle and fresh pecorino. A little heaven in a bowl.
Now that I’m home, I wanted to create a lovely version of that dish. Something fresh, simple but flavorful. We don’t have an abundant of truffles here in the states so I decided to make this an easy dish to prepare with local mushrooms and my favorite Napa cabbage. And of course, if you wish, a drizzle of black truffle oil over the top. A tribute to the lovely day in Cortona.
Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,
- 12 oz. linguine, cooked according to package directions
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1-2 oz dried porcini mushrooms (I love porcini mushrooms so I use 2 oz)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 leek, white part only, root trimmed, halved and then thinly sliced
- 1 medium shallot, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 cups sliced Napa cabbage (about ½ a medium cabbage)
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Squeeze of lemon
- Drizzle of black truffle oil (optional, but it’s really good!)
- Shaved aged Pecorino for garnish