Truffle Mac and Cheese

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  • There aren’t any magic tricks for truffle mac and cheese, just a basic mac and cheese recipe with a little adding truffle, which automatically elevates any meal.

    truffle mac and cheese with pea shoots and cracked black pepper in a blue bowl

    Truffles

    What are truffles? I happened to have a whole article dedicated to giving you a rudimentary education on the secret world of truffles, but I have one tidbit you probably do need to know.

    This (and most truffle recipes if they are decently priced) use black summer truffles, which are sometimes farmed and otherwise much more widely available and therefore less expensive.

    shaved black truffles

    This is the variety used to make pate and truffle oil, which aren’t cheap, but also don’t cost hundreds of dollars. Watch out for “truffle flavoring” this isn’t real truffle oil. It will still taste good, it just isn’t authentic. There are a lot of fakes out there!

    All of the products are used in extreme moderation, so make sure to check out our other truffles recipes to use the rest.

    Pate or Oil

    For this recipe, you have the choice to use either truffle oil or truffle pate and also to determine how truffle-y you want the dish. This might depend on the exact product you choose and forward the flavors and aroma are.

    Truffle oil is the most commonly used and is sometimes tossed on dry pasta before adding to the sauce, added directly to the cheese sauce or drizzled on top after it is assembled. You can even do all three if you are a real truffle lover.

    truffle mac and cheese in a saucepan

    If you choose to use pate, add it directly to the cheese sauce. Try to drain as much oil out as possible This creates little black flecks that are so desired in truffle recipes.

    For serving a larger crowd, some that might not enjoy the very robust smell and taste, you can use the method of drizzling oil on before serving or even topping the individual portions with a dollop of truffle pate.

    close up of truffle mac and cheese with gouda and cheddar

    I made this for my kids and while the 2-year-old loves truffles, the 1 year old does not, so I opted for the “oil on top” method”.

    Pasta

    Aw, the age old debate of what type of pasta to use for mac and cheese. I like using anything with ridges, shape and structure. For a heavy cheese sauce, it needs something to cling to.

    truffled mac and cheese in a serving spoon

    My favorite shapes are:

    • Elbow
    • Rotini
    • Fusilli
    • Shells

    Cheese Sauce

    Nearly all homemade cheese sauces start with a roux, a French term for butter and flour. Here, we will whisk equal parts butter and flour until it is little browned and nutty.

    Then, we’ll add milk, whisking until the roux dissolves and thickens. And then you can add your cheese of choice. In this case, I used half smoked gouda and half white cheddar.

    smoked gouda cheese sauce in a saucepan

    You can add other seasonings like dry or wet mustard, salt, pepper, paprika or Italian seasoning. Don’t add too much though, you want the flavors of truffle to nor be surpassed.

    Lobster Truffle Mac and Cheese

    Want to get even fancier? Add lobster to the mix!

    Buy a steamed lobster at the store, pick it for meat and simply toss it in when you toss the pasta with cheese sauce.

    You can also add shrimp, crab or chicken at this stage to make this a hearty side dish or full entree. Some people also like to include chopped mushrooms, already sweated out to half their size, too.

    Cheeses

    Gouda and white cheddar are perhaps my favorite cheeses for a base sauce. They are melty and mild in flavor, making the ideal canvas for other complementing tastes.

    truffled mac and cheese with chicken thighs on a white plate

    You can take this black truffle mac and cheese up another notch by substituting one of them for a truffle laced cheese. This will also give you those lovely black flecks. I prefer to use semi-hard cheeses and not soft cheese, like goat cheese, which has the tendency to get mealy if heated too hot.

    Serving

    This dish is robust enough to be a main entree, but if you are trying to pair with something, it does well with chicken, fish and beef.

    I like it with my pan fried steak and crab imperial filet mignon as well as French baked chicken and pastrami style salmon.

    Orange Marmalade with orange, tarragon and olives make this delicious, sticky crust for French Baked Chicken. Use on chicken halves or chicken breasts for a delicious French dinner recipe. #frenchchicken #bakedchickenrecipe www.savoryexperiments.com
    Olive and Orange French Baked Chicken

    Storage, Reheating and Freezing

    Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can make this ahead of time.

    If you are making ahead, PLEASE make sure the pasta is al dente so when you reheat it, it doesn’t just fall apart and get mushy.

    To reheat on the stove, place in a heavy bottom saucepan with an additional 1/4 cup heavy cream or milk. Heat over low heat and toss with a pasta spoon until hot.

    overhead view of truffle mac and cheese in a blue serving bowl

    To reheat in the oven, place in a large baking dish, top with additional cheese (if you have it) and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. You can even top it with breadcrumbs, panko or crushed crackers, potato chips or croutons, if you want.

    Of course you can microwave it, but this is the down and dirty “I’m just eating it for lunch” option.

    I don’t recommend freezing this one. The sauce thaws out grainy and often separates.

    truffle mac and cheese for pinterest

    More Mac and Cheese Recipes:

    Aged Gouda and Sriracha Mac and Cheese
    Take your mac and cheese to new levels with smoked gouda and spicy and sweet Sriracha!
    Slow Cooker Jalapeno and Bacon Mac and Cheese
    Slow Cooker Jalapeno Bacon Mac and Cheese is the BEST mac and cheese recipe made in the slow cooker with gouda, cheddar bacon and jalapenos! #macandcheeserecipe #slowcookermacandcheese www.savoryexperiments.com
    Slow Cooker Jalapeno Bacon Mac and Cheese is the BEST mac and cheese recipe made in the slow cooker with gouda, cheddar bacon and jalapenos!
    close up of truffled mac and cheese for pinterest

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    5 from 3 votes

    Truffle Mac and Cheese

    Delicious mac and cheese using smoked gouda, white cheddar and truffle oil. The perfect side dish.
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time20 mins
    Total Time30 mins
    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: truffle mac and cheese
    Servings: 8
    Calories: 414kcal
    Author: Jessica Formicola

    Ingredients

    • 1 pound elbow pasta , cooked according to box al dente
    • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 3 tablespoons flour
    • 2 cups milk
    • 2 teaspoons truffle oil
    • 1 cup white cheddar , shredded
    • 1/2 cup aged gouda , shredded
    • kosher salt & freshly ground pepper

    Instructions

    • In a large, heavy bottom saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in flour until a paste forms.
    • Continue to cook on medium heat until paste turns a light brown.
    • Whisk in milk until smooth. Add truffle oil (or pate).
    • Whisk in shredded cheeses until smooth.
    • Using a pasta spoon, toss cooked pasta with cheese sauce.
    • Test for seasoning and then add Kosher salt or cracked pepper sparingly. This will vary based on how salty your cheese was.
    • For serving, drizzle with another dab of truffle oil or top with pea shoots (pictured).
    • If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings.

    Notes

    If you using truffle pate, add 2 teaspoons, drained of as much oil as possible, directly to the cheese sauce.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 414kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 239mg | Potassium: 239mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 455IU | Calcium: 287mg | Iron: 1mg

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