Truffle Mac and Cheese
Nothing says comfort food quite like a mac and cheese. This recipe is an upscale version of the classic, as it uses a blend of three cheeses AND truffle oil. If you happen to be part of the ten percent of the population who isn’t into truffle oil, it can be omitted without impacting the recipe. I include some Ancho Chile power as well as nutmeg, to cut the richness of the cheese subtly, but it doesn’t interfere with the truffle flavors. This recipe is not one that you should embrace if you are trying to prepare for a beach vacation, but its perfect for the middle of winter when we all need a little something extra to keep us warm. I recently started imagining how delicious this recipe would be if I stirred in some lobster meat. Mmmmmm…..it would be richness overkill a bit but such delicious flavors together. We brought this to a little wine tasting party and drank it with a wonderful Dutton Goldfield Dutton Ranch Chardonnay. It has the lushness to stand up to the cheese, but a beautiful bright lemon finish that cuts through some of the richness.
Truffle Mac and Cheese
3/4 pound elbow macaroni pasta
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 cups hot whole milk
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Ancho chile or cayenne pepper
3/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 cup grated Fontina cheese
3/4 cup grated Sharp or White Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon granulated Garlic
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
1 Tablespoons White Truffle Oil + 1 Tablespoon for drizzling
3/4 Teaspoon Salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Add the salt and re-boil before adding the pasta. Cook the pasta (al dente) according to the package directions.
2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the butter, over medium heat in a saucepan until it begins to bubble but do not let it brown. Whisk in the flour to create a roux for the white-sauce base. Cook the flour and butter, over low heat, for 5 minutes, add the hot milk in a steady stream stirring constantly. Cook the white sauce for 8 minutes, or until thickened
3. Mix in the gruyere, cheddar and fontina cheeses and cook for 2 more minutes (or until smooth) over low heat.
4. Drain the pasta and add to the cheese sauce. Just mix to combine. Pour into prepared baking dish.
5. Mix together the breadcrumbs, parsley and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl and sprinkle over the top of the pasta and bake for 15 -20 minutes or until the top is browned and bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes, and drizzle over the top with an additional 1 Tablespoon White Truffle Oil before serving.