Truffle on!


Homemade Linguine with Sage Butter, Manchego and Shaved White Truffles                             by Moving Concepts



I love visiting bookstores (surprise, surprise). And one of my favourite store to visit whenever I go back to Vancouver is Barbara-jo’s Books To Cooks on West 2nd Avenue. As the name of the store suggests, the place is filled with a wide range of cook books, chefs’ memoirs, biographies as well as travelling books on gastronomical cities such as Paris,  Tuscany and much more. Barbara-jo’s hosts dinner gatherings at her shop, inviting renowned chefs from all over the world to come and cook for food and book lovers. I think this is such a great concept! A night where we can be surrounded by great books, exceptional food and wines and lovely conversations.

She sends out a weekly email with recipes contributed by various home cooks. But today I got a pleasant surprise in my inbox with a mouth-watering poem by Barbara-jo that I just have to share.

Emotional Truffle

I am
A fruity fungus
& Loud.
I am white, Italian, Tartufu of Alba
Come to me in Autumn
all over
Pasta-Risotto-Seafood & the Vegetable Roots.
EGGS find me weak with desire.
Leave me,
As Winter sets in.
Travel to Perigod, where my French, Black cousin – Truffe – waits for you.
Red meat-Game birds-Creamy Leeks.
EGGS are the love of my life.
I promise,
To leave you wanting-
Passionate for more-
of my earthy morsel.
~ Barbara-jo, Owner of Barbara-jo’s Books to Cooks, Vancouver, Canada.

The Pantry Pasta

There are days when I get these inexplicable urges to cook something simple and satisfying for myself. This usually happens when I haven’t looked after myself ‘properly’, meaning I have been too busy to have any real alone time in the kitchen and cook something for myself.

Happy to say that I am one of those who always try to keep my pantry well-stocked with dried goods in case of any emergency food cravings. Here are a few things that I feel are essential to have in your pantry AT ALL TIMES:

– good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil

– a few vinegars that you like for salads (ex. Red/white wine vinegar, balsamic, etc)

– Dijon mustard

– any type of dried chilli flakes

– dried pasta and rice

– jars of anchovies, olives, capers and gherkins

– garlic, shallots, onions and lemons (these can be left at room temperature)

Sometimes a girl just needs to have a “carb-kind-of-day” … to have something of substance and starchy. My go-to has always been a comforting pasta dish. Rummaging through my fridge and pantry, I’ll usually find all of the above; and if I am lucky, I’ll have a  pack of frozen prawns stashed in the freezer.

Here’s the my “Pantry Pasta” recipe.


Serves 1


  • 100 – 120g dried spaghetti
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small shallots, finely sliced
  • 1-2 anchovies
  • pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • Good Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • optional: frozen prawns, spoonful of pesto, leftover tomatoes which you can dice up, handful of fresh herbs such as parsley and basil


  1. Bring a big pot of water to boil. Add 2 big spoonful of salt and cook the spaghetti for 8 – 10 minutes, or until al dente.
  2. Heat a big glug of extra virgin olive oil in a medium pan (by big glug, I’d say around 60ml. Sounds like a lot but this is the sauce for your pasta) over medium low heat.
  3. Add in anchovies, garlic and shallots and gently cook them in the olive oil for 5 -6 minutes. Make sure the heat is medium low to prevent the garlic from burning.
  4. Add in chilli flakes, salt and black pepper to taste. At this point, you can also add finely chopped up parsley stems to the mixture. This will give your dish a subtle herb-y taste.
  5. If you have prawns and/or tomatoes, now is the time to put them into the olive oil mixture. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes.
  6. Check if spaghetti is done. if they are still a bit chewy, is ok, as you will be tossing them in the pan with the garlicky oil for at least another 3 -4 minutes.
  7. Transfer pasta directly to the pan using tongs. Turn up the heat to medium and toss the pasta with the olive oil mixture.
  8. Add a ladle of the pasta water to the spaghetti to moisten it up. The pasta water will also help to thicken the sauce.
  9. Season with salt and black pepper. Turn off heat stir int chopped fresh herbs. Plate up and drizzle a bit more extra virgin olive oil on top. Add a spoonful of pesto if you wish.