Sunday Supper | Truffle Mac N Cheese

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. 

 

Ingredients

  • 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

Process

  1.  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.
  2.  When the water boils, add the pasta and cook according to the package directions.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. When pasta is finished, drain.  Add pasta to skillet and remove from heat.
  6. 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.