Ugh how did we go from not wearing coats this past weekend to 8″ of snow expected today?! I guess it’s ok because it gave me an excuse to make my truffle mac and cheese. And it’s also ok because tomorrow I am heading to Napa!! Peace out Chicago.
Hard to believe, but this will actually be my first time there. All of the girls I am going with have been, and one even lives in San Fran, so I left the scheduling up to them. Just tell me where to go and make sure my wine glass doesn’t stay empty long.
My plan is to follow up with a fun little napa post, but thats subject to wine consumption and resulting picture quality; if you know what I’m sayin’ 🙂
of to the Mac (90’s throwback, anyone?!). This recipe is adapted from Chef Dave Martin’s recipe he created while on Top Chef and it is absolutely divine.
This is a no-roux-required recipe – say that 10 times fast. So the sauce is extra creamy; thickening from reducing the cream, choosing good melting cheeses and the addition of the egg yolks (think carbonara), with no chance of any grittiness from a fumbled flour roux. And speaking of the cheese, if you can’t find a Raclette, you can always substitute with Gruyere.
Now, I don’t consider myself frugal by any means; in fact, quite the opposite. BUT, I am not going to be spending the money to buy truffle peelings unless I’m reeeeeally trying to impress. Luckily I found a great substitute at Eataly that is a combination of mushrooms and black truffles, for a fraction of the price. It gives it a little more depth of flavor than just adding truffle oil, which is what most recipes call for. I also like the seeing the little specs of mushroom and truffle.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup shallots, minced
- 1 head garlic, roasted
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 2 teaspoon fresh oregano, finely chopped, separated
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, stems removed, finely chopped, separated
- ⅓ cup Sherry wine
- 2 tablespoons Tartufata
- 1¼ cup grated parmesan, separated
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons white truffle oil
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 lb penne pasta
- 1½ cup Fontina cheese, grated
- 1 cup Raclette cheese, grated
- ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallots, stirring occasionally for 3 - 5 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon chopped oregano and 2 teaspoons chopped thyme. Stir in roasted garlic, cooking another 2 minutes. Carefully add the Sherry wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up and brown bits off the bottom. Stir in the Tartufata. Slowly stir in the cream, cayenne, 1 cup parmesan and truffle oil. Continue to cook until cream is reduced, about 15 - 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add paste, cooking until al dente. Drain, set aside.
- Place both egg yolks in a small mixing bowl. Whisk in 1 - 2 teaspoons of the hot cream mixture to temper the eggs. Once eggs are beaten well and brought up to temperature, whisk them into the cream mixture.
- Remove cream mixture from heat. In a large mixing bowl, add warm, cooked pasta and cheeses, stirring to allow cheese to melt and coat the pasta. Add the cream mixture, stirring to coat.
- In a small mixing bowl, add the breadcrumbs, remaining parmesan, oregano and thyme.
- Divide the mac and cheese evenly between six 8oz. ramekins, top with breadcrumb mixture.
- Place ramekins on a baking sheet, and bake in oven until cooked through and breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 25 - 30 minutes.
- Let cool slightly. Serve warm.