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Truffle Mac and Cheese

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Warm, baked pasta like mac and cheese is one of the best things to eat in winter, and truffle anything (at least to some of us) is one of the best things to eat any time of year. Let’s mix them up and make some Truffle Mac and Cheese.

This is one of those simple, homey, casserole-y things that gets an upgrade (update?) with the easy addition of a small amount of truffle oil. It’s strong, so a little goes a long way, but the oil gives the humble mac a little something that takes it next-level. Delicious alongside a steak and a simple salad, this mac and cheese can also be a standalone (maybe add a salad) vegetarian pasta dinner. Unless you are one of the truffle-haters (which we truffle-lovers cannot understand), you are bound to be happy with dinner either way. 

Don’t worry that you won’t have ingredients for this recipe, or that you’ll be buying a big ol’ bottle of some oil you’ll eventually throw out: You can buy truffle oil in tiny bottles at Central Market next to the olive oil. Dinner tonight? Yes!

Truffle Mac and Cheese

Truffle oil brings this homey mac and cheese to the next level. 

Truffle Mac and Cheese

1 pound macaroni or other tubular or curly pasta
1 tablespoon truffle oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¾ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
¾ cup shredded gruyere
¾ cup plus ¼ cup grated parmesan
¼ cup breadcrumbs
Minced fresh chives, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook 8 minutes. Drain and transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Drizzle the truffle oil over the warm pasta and stir to coat. 

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and mustard and cook, whisking constantly, until there are no lumps of flour, about 2 minutes. Continue whisking and add the milk and cream gradually, then the salt and pepper. Whisk until the mixture thickens to coat a spoon, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheddar, gruyere, and ¾ cup of parmesan. Pour the sauce over the pasta in the baking dish and stir carefully to coat the pasta. Top with the breadcrumbs and then ¼ cup of the parmesan. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, then let the macaroni rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with chives before serving.

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