There was this thing that happened last week where all these food bloggers came together to make the world a better place by introducing so many recipes for mac and cheese. It was a beautiful thing that I am so proud to have been a part of, and it has inspired me to continue developing mac and cheese recipes. It is tough work, but necessary work. So, you’re welcome.
The official Mac and Cheese Mania 2014 has come to a close, but you still have time to win some great prizes! Just go visit Nutmeg Nanny or Rachel Cooks, link up your favorite recipe (you do not need to have a blog to do so!) and you will be entered to win something great. Go do it now, then come back and make this Shroomy Truffled Mac and Cheese for lunch. Or dinner.
The idea for this recipe comes from my mother. A few years ago she started taking herself out to dinner on a regular basis. She would always bring a book with her in case she felt awkward, but often didn’t even read it. Sometimes she would sit in the bar area and strike up a conversation with someone. I’m not sure if she would want me sharing this fact with the internet, but I love that she did this for herself. I’ve written before about the importance of loving the company of yourself. My mom is not single, but she knows how to enjoy time alone, and I think that is impressive. It is difficult to get used to, and it is something that people should strive for. You never know when you’re going to be stuck in the presence of yourself and only yourself.
Anyway, during her solo dining adventures, she found this mac and cheese dish that was made with mushrooms, and she asked me to recreate it. She made her own version long before I made this version, but I finally got around to it, and now here it is! This Shroomy Truffled Mac and Cheese is so earthy, hearty, and delicious. I can’t even tell you how much I am enjoying this. Mushrooms are one of my favorite ingredients, and truffle oil is just… wow. Use it sparingly, though! Truffle oil is potent and white truffle oil can easily overpower a dish if not used carefully. I tried this recipe both with white truffle oil and black truffle oil. I preferred the black, and David preferred the white. White truffle oil is a little stronger, very floral, and is the most common one to find in the grocery store. Black truffle oil has a more subtle flavor, but both of them have an intense aroma that makes my mouth water as soon as I open the bottle. As if this recipe wasn’t already epic enough being full of truffle flavor, it also contains bacon. Do I even need to continue? I didn’t think so.
Shroomy, truffley, bacony, cheesy, carby. Yep. Shroomy Truffled Mac and Cheese has it all. Enjoy!
- 1 pound dried campanelli pasta, or other tubular pasta
- 1/2 pound (about 1 cup) cooked and shredded chicken breast
- 4 slices thick cut bacon, diced
- 4 ounces (about 1 cup) sliced cremini mushrooms
- 4 ounces (about 1 cup) chopped porcini mushrooms (2 ounces dried, rehydrated)
- 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) unsalted butter
- 1/2 ounce (about 1 tablespoon) all purpose flour
- 16 ounces (2 cups) whole milk
- 6 ounces (about 3 cups) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 ounces (about 1 cup) freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- truffle oil
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the noodles and cook according to package directions.
- In a medium pot, saute the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and remove excess oil from the pot.
- Add the mushrooms (if using fresh porcini mushrooms, add them, if using rehydrated, leave them to the side) to the medium pot and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside with the bacon and wipe the pot clean.
- Place the medium pot over medium heat, and melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook until smooth.
- Whisk in the milk, cheeses and salt to the butter/flour mixture, and stir until smooth and thick, about 5 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms, bacon, and chicken to the cooked and drained noodles, pour the sauce over and stir to combine well.
- Drizzle lightly with truffle oil.