Intense & Delicious Gourmet Mac + Cheese
This has to be one of the most decedent dishes I make, and this time it was all about going big or going home.
I splurged by replacing the aged cheddar with a blend of medium asiago and monterey Jack cheese. This was baked to perfection and topped off with a drizzle of white truffle oil. A very intense tasting and smelling dish that will blow your senses away….and your belt buckle if you eat too much of it!
6 cups dry pasta, shapes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large yellow onion, minced
2 teaspoons salt
8 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup chopped oregano*
2 tablespoons chopped thyme*
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup butter
3 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup unbleached flour
4 cups grated aged white cheddar cheese (about 330g)
1 Teaspoon White Truffle Oil (Optional)
* Fresh herbs are best of course but dried works fine too
Cook pasta in boiling, salted water until just done. strain and toss with a light coating of olive oil. set aside or refrigerate. (This step can be done one day in advance.).
You can start chopping the herbs, set aside in a bowl all mixed together.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp (15ml) olive oil in a small skillet and sauté onion for 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic, 1/2 tsp (2.5ml) salt and sauté until the garlic turns golden. Transfer into bowl with the previously chopped herbs. Set aside.
Next, make a roux for the cheese sauce. Gently heat the milk and keep it warm. Set a saucepan over medium heat and melt the butter. Sprinkle in flour and whisk constantly as the flour and butter turn golden. Gradually add the warm milk and 1 tsp (5ml) salt and whisk thoroughly. heat until the sauce thickens (about 10 minutes). Add the sautéed onion/herb mix, grated cheese and stir until the cheese melts. Season to taste.
To assemble, combine the noodles and cheese sauce in a large bowl and mix well. pour into an oiled 8 x12-inch dish. Scatter the leftover cheese over the entire surface, working some of it into the noodles. Bake uncovered until golden and bubbly (about 45 minutes). Serve piping hot.
Drizzle with Truffle Oil immediately before serving for that gourmet touch (optional)