Asti, October 31, 2010—WE'RE IN A PLEASANT country hotel outside Asti, but we ate today a few kilometers south in Alba, because there was an exhibition there of Morandi landscapes that we didn't want to miss. Alba is of course the center of Italy's white truffle economy, and this is the season, so we did the expected.
But where? We didn't have time to look around, we'd got into town too late for that, and we're travelling without restaurant guidebooks, since we're mostly eating in hotels or agriturismi. So we parked near the center of town, walked past a couple of uninteresting-looking places, and settled on Pasta e Pasta, a chain I'm pretty sure (since I think I recall eating at one in Milan a few years ago).
Still, they had the requisite fungi. So we ordered tajarin, the Piemontese version of tagliarini, served dressed with good Piemontese butter, with fourteen grams of white truffles sliced thin on top. (You pay for your truffles by weight: they bring four or five to the table with a little scale, you choose the ones you want, they weigh them.) Afterward, we both wanted brasato Barbaresco, slices of beef braised in that red wine, polenta on the side. Nothing more but an excellent coffee, thank you; it was very good; I'd go back.
Arneis in carafe; Barbaresco in carafe
Pasta e Pasta, Via Cuneo 3, Alba (CN); tel. 0173/363825