Though I’m not always the biggest pasta fan, I could definitely eat mac and cheese nearly every day. This recipe in particular, featured on Season 1 of Top Chef, is truly my all-time favorite – the roasted garlic, reduced cognac, plentiful herbs, and (of course!) black truffles make this dish both decadent and ridiculously flavorful, and screams autumn to me.
Black Truffle Mac and Cheese
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, brunoise
6 cloves of roasted garlic
3 oz of black truffles, sliced with truffle shaver
1 quart of heavy mfg. cream
1 cup of cognac, reduced to demi sec
2 tsp. fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 tsp. fresh thyme stems removed
1 Tbsp. sherry
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. white pepper
8 oz. Fontina, finely grated
6 oz Parmiggiano reggiano,finely grated
2 tsp. chipotle Tabasco
2 cups seasoned sourdough croutons, run thru food processor to turn into crumbs
1 lb Fresh pasta noodles (rigatoni or other noodle that will hold sauce), cooked in salt water to al dente
8 oz unsalted butter
3 oz sliced black truffles
Heat oil on stovetop in stockpot and then add shallots and garlic and heavily sweat until aromatic. Deglaze with sherry and then add fresh herbs, truffles and cream and reduced cognac. Cook over low heat until reduced by half and truffle flavor is infused. Season and add parmesan and Tabasco.
To this hot mixture add the cooked and drained noodles and the fontina and mix cheeses are melted. Taste noodles for seasoning and adjust as needed. Set aside.
Take small 4 -6 oz. baking dish and butter the bottom and sides. Set one slice of truffle on bottom of each dish. Then add noodles and sauce to the dish and top with the crumbled croutons, finely grated truffles and a pinch of the finely grated parmesan and back in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until mixture is bubbly and toasted on the top.