This recipe was inspired by the creamy, truffled cicchetti that can be found in many of the backstreet wine bars in Venice. I looked and looked for a recipe and, having no luck, eventually made up my own. I tried this out with many different types of cheeses and pre-made truffle spreads, but nothing came close to the recipe that follows. The richness of the truffle and lightness of the ricotta is addicting, especially atop crusty bread. In Venice, it is often topped with slices of hard boiled egg or slices of marinated porcini mushrooms but I serve it alone.
As with any recipe with few ingredients, try to use the best you can find. Fresh ricotta and a good quality baguette, in particular, are worth seeking out for this dish. Truffle pate is a mixture of minced truffles and minced mushrooms in olive oil and can be found at Italian specialty shops. It is NOT the same thing as truffled pate, which is a meat-based pate that would not work for this dish. —MP
truffle pate (mushroom based)
salt (can use truffle salt if you have it for an extra punch)
Mix all ingredients together in your serving bowl and adjust salt and truffle pate to taste. Add more olive oil, if necessary, to loosen the mixture. Serve immediately or store in refrigerator until ready for use.