Los Angeles has been getting hit with some really incredible rain so I have been taking this opportunity to stay indoors, sleep in, cuddle and cook. While I am usually a pretty clean eater and try to prepare mostly vegan at home, I believe in balance and nothing compliments winter weather better than comfort food. At the top of my list of all time stormy weather favorites is Mac N Cheese and I have been trying to perfect a cast iron skillet recipe. I found one and modified it slightly by adding breadcrumbs and finished it with truffle oil. This dish has taken me back to last winter when I was very pregnant and wanted nothing more than cheesy pasta. What I would have done to have had this recipe back then. This dish is beyond delicious and will be a perfect compliment to any winter gathering. It also only takes about 30 minutes to prepare.
- 16 oz organic pasta (I prefer shells or macaroni elbows)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 1/2 cup milk (I used goat)
- 1/2 teaspoon all powdered mustard, salt, paprika,
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 3 cups grated cheese (you can use any cheese that you have on hand. I really love the combination of a good Gruyere, medium cheddar and Parmesan)
- 3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (covered to speed things up). Heat a large cast-iron skillet (8 to 10 inches across, and 2 inches or more deep) over low heat.
- When the water boils, add the pasta and cook according to the package directions.
- While the pasta cooks, make the cheese sauce: Put the butter into the skillet. It should melt, foam, and begin to brown almost immediately. Pour in the milk, then add the mustard, paprika, cayenne and salt. Whisk together.
- Set aside 1/2 cup of the grated cheese for topping the final dish. Begin to add the rest of the cheese to the skillet, one handful at a time, whisking between each addition. When it has all melted, sift the flour over the skillet, one tablespoon at a time, whisking after each spoonful. Sauce should be about as thick as house paint.
- When pasta is finished, drain. Add pasta to skillet and remove from heat.
- Stir pasta and cheese sauce together until fully combined, then sprinkle the top with the reserved grated cheese and panko. Broil until top is golden brown (4 to 6 minutes). Remove from oven and drizzle with while truffle oil. Cool for a few minutes before serving.
Enjoy with friends.