Truffled mac and cheese is an adults sorta indulgence that’s cheesy and creamy and earthy and wonderful in a splurge-er-ific sorta way.
Mac and cheese just went from kids’ food to fancy schmancy. All you need to do is toss in a few shavings of black truffle and some truffle oil. Pricey, perhaps. But well worth it every once in a special while. Originally published May 26, 2010.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Truffled Mac and Cheese
- Quick Glance
- 25 M
- 1 H
- Serves 4, generously
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons white truffle oil (optional)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 oz), 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.
A Faster, Easier Truffled Mac and Cheese
- We 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.
Recipe Testers Reviews
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.
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.
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.