It is a new year and everyone is trying to hold onto those new year resolutions to eat healthy and get organized. Not me though. I shoot for moderation in my eating all year round. It has worked for me thus far, mostly. A good resolution would probably be to cut back on the procrastination, but it works for me. Did I mention this recipe came to be for Thanksgiving. So it is a few month late, but equally delicious. Case and point: procrastination works for me.
So for those of you looking to break your new years resolution, have already done so or don't make them, this recipe is for you. This bad boy mac & cheese has over a pound of cheese. Tons of whole milk. Although a combination of whole milk and skim milk works too.
Instead of adding the truffle oil to the cheese sauce, I toss it with the pasta right after I drain it. The steamy hot pasta, cooked al dente, will soak up all that yummy flavor. Plus, there is already plenty of fat, dare I say grease, in the cheese sauce. No need to dump the truffle oil right into the sauce. Plus, I imagine the oil separating from the cheese mixture like water and oil, yuck.
There is more cheese in the topping, along with panko bread crumbs and truffle oil. Never tried panko bread crumbs? You should, they can be found in most grocery stores and make for a perfectly crunchy topping for any casserole. Beats store bough bread crumbs or grinding up your own.The end result is a decadent and elegant macaroni & cheese, with the addition of the truffle oil. It will impress your next dinner guests for sure, because truffles are always impressive.
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 cups (4 oz) cheddar cheese, grated
3/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1 teaspoon truffle oil
Macaroni and Sauce:
1 stick unsalted butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 1/2 cups whole milk
6 cups (1 lb) extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup (2 oz) Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
3/4 cup (3 oz) fontina cheese, grated
2 tablespoons truffle oil
1 pound elbow macaroni, twists or penne pasta
- Preheat oven to 400F, with rack in middle. Combine the butter, panko bread crumbs, truffle oil, cheddar and Parmigiano-Reggiano, in a bowl, until well combined.
Macaroni and Sauce
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Once butter has melted whisk in the flour, continue whisking for 3 minutes, until the mixture is a light golden color and thick, then whisk in the milk.
- Increase the heat and bring sauce to a boil, whisking constantly, about 6-8 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for 4 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Stir in cheeses, until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Cook the pasta in boiling water until al dente (a few minutes shy of what you normally do). Drain macaroni a colander, placing the drain noodles in a large bowl. Toss the noodles with the truffle oil, until well coated. Combine the noodles and cheese sauce, until evenly coated. Transfer to a 9 x 12 baking dish, sprinkling topping over the pasta evenly.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until topping is golden.
Slightly adapted from Gourmet