Sunday, February 13, 2011

Another Valentine's Recipe

My daughter ate at a new restaurant recently and had truffled mac and cheese and asked me to recreate it for her. Since she was home this Valentine's weekend I thought I would surprise her with it. This is truly a recipe for a special occasion. I happened to be lucky enough to have a nice black truffle. You can you truffle oil as a substitute.

I also used Taleggio cheese. This is a wonderful Italian cheese which is similar to a brie which can also use as a substitute.

Melt a stick of butter in a pot. While it is melting, add a can of evaporated milk to a bowl along with two egg yolks, a teaspoon of salt and some cracked black pepper. Whisk to combine. You can see the pieces of shaved black truffle in the mix. If you have a truffle, use about half of it for this recipe. When the butter is melted, whisk this mix into it. Add the Taleggio cheese along with a cup of Parmesan. Stir until the cheese is melted and you have a smooth sauce.

I added some black truffle oil to replace two tablespoons of the butter. If you are not using shaved truffles, add a bit more truffle oil.

Boil your pasta just until it is al dente. Drain and add to the cheese sauce.

I like using the gnocchi shaped pasta for this dish.

In a separate bowl measure out two cups of panko (Japanese breadcrumbs).

Add several tablespoons of pesto to the breadcrumbs.

Add three tablespoons of melted butter and stir the mixture until all the breadcrumbs are combined with the pesto.

Drain the pasta and mix it into the cheese sauce. Spread it into a casserole.

Spread the pesto breadcrumb mixture over the top of the pasta.

This pasta does not need to be cooked further so I placed it under the broiler to crisp the breadcrumbs. Be careful not to let it burn.

If you need to keep it warm before serving, place it in a 180 degree oven.