For the Mac and Cheese- 10 oz orecchiette pasta (or your favorite pasta shape)
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Several generous "microplanings" of black truffle
- 4 slices of Most Excellent bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
reserved bacon fat from cooking the bacon
- ½ small sweet onion, small dice
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups whole milk
- 6 oz extra sharp white cheddar, grated
- 2 oz Asiago cheese, grated
- 2 oz Parmesan, finely grated (honestly, canned is fine here)
For the Topping- ¾ cup panko
- 2 Tablespoons Parmesan, finely grated (ditto on the can)
- 2 Tablespoons Asiago, finely grated
- heavy pinch of salt
- some of the reserved bacon fat
1. Cook the pasta to al dente. Drain well.
2. In a bowl, gently but thoroughly stir together the pasta, oil and microplaned truffle. Set aside.
3. Cook the onion along with a pinch of salt and pepper in 2 Tablespoons of reserved bacon fat until soft.
4. Add 2 Tablespoons of flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes.
5. Pour in the two cups of milk along with another pinch of salt and pepper.
6. Bring to a boil and the reduce the heat. Let the sauce simmer for maybe 5 minutes.
7. Off the heat, stir in the cheeses, a bit at a time, until the sauce is nice and smooth. You may have to briefly put it back over the heat to melt all the cheese, but don't let it even come close to a boil or your sauce could break.
8. Taste the sauce and season with more salt and pepper if necessary.
9. Gently but thoroughly stir the sauce together with the pasta.
10. Put your mac and cheese into a small casserole dish and top with the panko mixture.
11. Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes. If necessary, broil for a couple of minutes at the end of cooking, just to get a lovely color on the topping.
12. Serve, shaving additional truffle on each serving.
Enjoy :) !
Text and photographs © Pastry chef online blog.