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
Hands-On Time: 25 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour | Serves 4, generously
- 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
- 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.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:
- Truffled Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnuts from Cheeky Kitchen
- Lobster Mac 'n Cheese from Steamy Kitchen
- Truffled Lentil Spoons from Leite's Culinaria
- Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Crunchy Crumb Topping from Leite's Culinaria
Truffled Mac and Cheese Recipe © 2010 Rick Tramonto. Photo © 2010 Ben Fink. All rights reserved.