Truffled Macaroni and Cheese with Garden Pesto, Pine Nut Brittle and Fresh Herbage
Macaroni and cheese with a twist.user rating
- Pine nut brittle:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp. Cabot Unsalted Butter
- 1/2 cup raw pine nuts
- 1 pinch ground red pepper (cayenne)
- 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
- Garden pesto:
- 1 cup lightly packed mixed fresh herbs, such as Italian parsley, basil, tarragon, thyme, rosemary and/or carrot fronds
- 1 oz. Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar, grated, about 1/4 cup
- 2 Tbsp. toasted pine nuts
- 3 to 4 Tbsp. canola or olive oil
- Macaroni and cheese:
- 16 oz. campanelle dried pasta
- 3 Tbsp. Cabot Unsalted Butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 pinch hot red pepper flakes
- 3 Tbsp. King Arthur's Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp. white vinegar
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 oz. Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar, grated, about 2 cups
- 2 Tbsp. white truffle oil or white flavored truffle oil
- 3/4 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1 pinch ground white pepper
- fresh Italian parsley, carrot fronds, pea shoots and/or radish sprouts
1. To make brittle: Place non-stick baking sheet or baking sheet lined with silicone pad or waxed paper on wire rack next to stovetop.
2. Place clean saute pan over medium-high heat for about two minutes or until hot; distribute sugar evenly over bottom of pan. Let sugar melt, shaking pan to redistribute unmelted portion. (Work carefully, as melted sugar is extremely hot and will burn to the touch.)
3. When sugar is all melted and deep golden brown, add butter. Stir in with spoon to incorporate, along with pine nuts, cayenne and salt.
4. Remove from heat and continue stirring until completely blended. Immediately pour out onto baking sheet and spread into even layer with spoon. Let stand for about 30 minutes until completely cool.
5. To make pesto: In food processor or blender, combine herbs, cheese and pine nuts; pulse until chopped. Add oil and process until smooth.
6. To make macaroni and cheese: In large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente; drain well, then rinse under cool water to stop cooking. Return pasta to pot.
7. In medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter; stir in garlic and red pepper flakes. When garlic is fragrant, stir in flour. Continue stirring until flour smells nutty and begins to turn golden.
8. Stir in mustard and vinegar. Gradually whisk in milk and heavy cream. Increase heat to medium and continue whisking until sauce begins to thicken.
9. Reduce heat to maintain gentle simmer and continue cooking, stirring often, for 5 minutes (to eliminate starchy texture).
10. Stir in cheese, truffle oil, salt, white pepper and reserved pesto. Pour sauce over pasta and stir until everything is well blended and heated through. Serve in bowls, sprinkled with crumbles of pine nut brittle and fresh garnishes.
Recipe courtesy of Chef Sean Buchanan