Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Parmesan Truffle Mac & Cheese

I think everyone has a soft spot for mac & cheese because it's comforting and reminds us of our childhood. But instead of making it out of box I make a more luxurious, grown up, tastier version with parmesan cheese and truffle oil. Truffle oil can be a bit pricey and you usually need to go to a specialty store to buy it but trust me it really does transform the most boring dishes like pasta or even eggs into something wonderful. Also, a little goes a long way with truffle oil so use it sparingly. And the combination of the nutty parmesan cheese with the slight pungent aroma of the truffle oil makes this dish pure alchemy in every bite. On top of the mac & cheese are garlic breadcrumbs which add a crispy, crunchy texture to the dish. You can bake this in a big dish or portion them into individual oven-proof dishes which I love because I can freeze any of the dishes that I won't eat and I always have luxurious mac & cheese ready for the oven. This is definitely one of those dishes that you eat on the weekend with a good movie and a blanket!

3/4 lb. elbow macaroni
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 tsp. white truffle oil
handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
pinch of ground nutmeg
salt and pepper
handful of panko breadcrumbs
2 garlic cloves, grated

Preheat oven to 425ºF

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the elbow pasta and cook for 5 minutes

Meanwhile in a saucepan, melt the butter then add the flour and cook for 1 minute before gradually adding the milk until you have a thick béchamel sauce

Season the béchamel with salt, pepper, and nutmeg then add the truffle oil and parmesan cheese to the sauce

Drain the pasta and mix it with the béchamel sauce then portion the mac & cheese into individual dishes or one large dish

Then mix the breadcrumbs and garlic together and sprinkle over the mac & cheese along with some additional parmesan cheese

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown

Cool for a few minutes and serve with a fresh salad