Truffled Mac and Cheese

Most of us grew up loving macaroni and cheese, and I’m no exception. But now that I’m all grown up, I prefer a more sophisticated version than the one my mom made for me. I add a little truffle oil to kick it into another sphere. If you really like truffles and have some fresh ones on hand, chop them up and stir them into the casserole before baking for even more flavor. On the other hand, you could omit the truffle oil and still end up with an amazing mac and cheese.–Rick Tramonto

LC High Falutin' Mac and Cheese Note

It’s true, what Rick just wrote. Especially the part about this truffled mac and cheese recipe being amazing. We also found, through a rather fortuitous accident, that the recipe can easily be tweaked for those nights when you’re short on time. (Is there ever a night when you’re not short on time?) Simply omit the baking time and instead toss the cooked pasta with the cheesy, truffle-y goodness, top with the breadcrumbs, and run under the broiler just long enough to crisp the crumbs. See? High falutin’ and weeknight-savvy.

Truffled Mac and Cheese Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 4, generously

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons white truffle oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/4 pound Swiss cheese, grated
  • 1/4 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/4 pound Fontina cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • 2. In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and 1 tablespoon of the truffle oil.
  • 3. In a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture is thoroughly combined and forms a paste. Whisk in the half-and-half, bring to a simmer, and cook for 3 minutes.
  • 4. Stir in the Swiss, Cheddar, and Fontina cheeses and then add the mustard. Remove the sauce from the heat when the cheeses have melted. Stir in the remaining truffle oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • 5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over medium heat and cook the macaroni for about 7 minutes, until al dente. Drain the pasta and add to the saucepan with the cheese sauce. Stir well.
  • 6. Turn the macaroni and cheese into a buttered 2-quart baking dish. (At this point you could refrigerate the casserole dish for up to 24 hours.) Top the casserole with the breadcrumb mixture and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the casserole is bubbling.
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Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Dan Kraan

May 26, 2010

Truffled Mac and Cheese is a rich, creamy casserole with very sensual overtones. Its decadent, earthy muskiness makes you want to partake in more than you really should! The flavour generated by using white truffle oil is exceptional without the added fresh truffle. I tried this as is, and also with a few chopped shavings of fresh black truffle over the warmed mixture, once plated. It’s somewhat nicer, but it’s an expensive indulgence.

Note: If using freshly grated Parmesan (recommended), you need about 1 1/2 ounces. The recipe also needed 5 minutes of extra time to heat the cream to a simmer. The completed casserole won’t fit in a 1-quart dish, but will amply fill a 2-quart dish. So much so, that filling it any more would have caused it to bubble over in the oven.

Testers Choice
Karen Depp

May 26, 2010

This is just about as good as it gets: Easy, beautiful out of the oven, and delicious. Next time, I’ll eliminate the mustard, because we’re not mustard fans, and I may cut back a bit on the truffle oil in the sauce. I may also try black truffle oil to see if there’s a difference. (I can see that I’m just thinking up excuses to make this again.) This is definitely party fare for a crowd. The recipe makes more than enough for 8 people, although it says it serves 4.

Testers Choice
Michaele Musel

May 26, 2010

In one word: Mmmmmm. (Is that considered a word?) I made this for dinner alongside roasted chicken. My first response after tasting a bite of this rich, decadent mac and cheese was simply mmmmm. It was easy to make, and the ingredients all worked together. I’ll definitely make this again, maybe with the addition of chopped prosciutto or crispy pancetta.

Comments
Comments
  1. Kristiina says:

    I am not the biggest fan of fontina cheese. What would you suggest as a good substitute?

    Thanks

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      We’re kindred souls, Kristiina. I typically use Gruyere in its place, to great effect. You could instead use the slightly stinky but not overly robust Taleggio. Let us know which cheese you try, and how it goes…

  2. RisaG says:

    this sounds amazing. I made a curried mac n cheese last night and didn’t bake it. We don’t like baked in this house. I mixed the cheesey goodness with the noodles and then that was it. Just wonderful as it was. This sounds like something to try when my son is at a sleepover.

  3. SusieBee says:

    This sounds amazing. Will definitely add truffle oil to any mac and cheese going forward!

  4. Catt says:

    Where did you get those amazing baking dishes?

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      They are pretty stunning, aren’t they? We’re checking in with the stylist for the shoot and will report back as soon as we hear, Catt. Although I’m certain that they’re Staub, which is a French maker of enameled cast iron, and I’m fairly certain that they’re this mini rectangular roasting dish. It’s available online at Sur La Table, Amazon, Chef’s Resource, and other online venues…

  5. Ria says:

    Hi! I tried this last night, deadly delicious….. I omitted the breadcrumbs to cut on calories and it was good, although I had to be careful not to brown the Parmesan topping too much, as it can taste bitter when overcooked. I can get some truffle shavings where I am, do you think I could mix that in with the cheese mix before baking?

    • Beth Price, LC Director of Recipe Testing says:

      Hi Ria,

      Fresh truffles are very heat sensitive and high heat can minimize the truffle’s aroma and flavor. I prefer to shave them on at the end of the cooking process so the gentle warmth can release the lovely scent and taste.

      • Ria says:

        Thank you for the advice, I am using actually bottled carpaccio de truffes, have you ever used those? I have thrown these into pasta’s before, and work very well, but not baked with them before.

        • Beth Price, LC Director of Recipe Testing says:

          Hi Ria, I have never used carpaccio de truffes but I am always interested to hear about alternatives, as fresh truffles can be difficult to find. Please let us know how your buffet turns out!

  6. Ria says:

    This is very useful knowing the recipe is good for 8 people! I want to do it for 40 people as part of a buffet!

  7. Ria says:

    Can i leave this out of the fridge for a few hours once the mixture is done? Sometimes I do not have enough room in my fridge if cooking for 30 people.

    • David Leite says:

      Hi Ria, I can’t in good conscience say yes. If food falls into the danger zone (40° to 140°F), there’s the threat of spoilage and contamination. (That was the professional in me. And my attorney would clock me if he saw I didn’t include that information. Considering yourself warned.)

      Now, personally, I’ve left meat and other foods out for several hours, and I’m still alive. So use you discretion.

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