Don’t freak out. Yes, there is truffle in this dish. No, it’s not scary. Just trust me…
I know truffle anything may sound hoighty toighty, fancy schmancy pants, and over the top…BUT…it’s a totally approachable flavor at home. I used to be intimidated by truffle myself – in fact, the very first time I tried cooking with it, I ruined the meal. It was intended to be a pizza with a truffle essence…and I, not realizing just how potent truffle oil is, heavily drenched the entire pizza with it. Ugh. It was gross. We had to throw it out. Sad face.
Hopefully I didn’t just discourage you. Because despite that, I decided to try the truffle thang out again…with much success. I have not grown tired of the truffle trend, and I think investing in a bottle of truffle oil can take you a loooong way. You only need a drizzle here and a drizzle there! (I’m still sad about that pizza, though. Sigh.) Don’t be scared. Embrace the truffle.
Awhile back, Dan and I went out for an anniversary at a very fancy Philly steakhouse. We ordered an incredibly decadent Kobe strip steak to share and some amazing side dishes. One of them was a truffled mac-and-cheese. It was TO DIE FOR. So amazing. As we were leaving the restaurant, my hubs turned to me and said “you HAVE to try recreating that at home.” Little did he know, the wheels in my head were already turning. I had already asked the server about the types of cheese used in their mac. She happily divulged the FOUR cheeses used. (OK, so this mac-and-cheese may be a SLIGHT investment. Four different cheeses AND truffle oil. Yeah, I know. But just hear me out…)
The very next night, we ate truffle mac-and-cheese at home. We were obsessed. I was beyond thrilled that I was able to recreate that amazing dish with some tweaks of my own. At least at home, we didn’t have to pay a huge markup for such a meal. Yes, it may have been a bit pricey to make, but I don’t regret it at all. That bottle of truffle oil was an investment piece. Think of it like that pair of designer shoes you must have…but for your MOUTH. Your mouth will be the most stylish in town… all the girls will be jealous. Hah. Anyway…
I’ve served this dish to several people, and many times they ask for the recipe. It’s that good. Creamy, cheesy, earthy, and everything else we all love about mac-and-cheese. Save this one for a special occasion, but definitely give it a shot. It’s so worth it.
Just look at that gooey, creamy cheeeeeese….. need I say more?
Like I said, embrace the truffle. Truffle is your friend. Repeat after me… Truffle is my friend. Truffle is my friend. Truffle is my friend….
Now go make this mac! You won’t regret it!
Four-Cheese Truffled Mac (makes 6 side servings)
3 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, grated
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups half-and-half, warmed
2 oz gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
2 oz goat cheese, crumbled
8 oz Fontina cheese, grated
4 oz parmesan cheese, grated
1 lb of pasta (I used cavatappi)
2-3 teaspoons truffle oil, or to taste**
2 tablespoons black truffle butter**
¾ cup Panko breadcrumbs
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 9 x 13-in baking dish.
2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Grate in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the flour and cook until lightly golden. Whisk in the half-and-half and bring to a simmer. Whisk frequently and cook until thickened.
3. Cook the pasta for 5 minutes (it will be very el dente). Drain completely.
4. Add in the cheeses to the sauce and whisk until melted. Drizzle in truffle oil and taste to make sure it’s truffle-y enough. Toss the pasta with the cheese sauce and then transfer to the buttered baking dish.
5. Melt the truffle butter in a small saucepan and season with salt. Toss the panko breadcrumbs in the melted butter and then spread in an even layer over the mac and cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden and the cheesy is bubbly. Allow to cool slightly. Drizzle the top with more truffle oil, if desired, and serve warm.
**Ingredient Notes: I buy my truffle products from D’Artagnan. Their products are consistently high in quality.