Prep 10 mins
Cook 40 mins
An "upscale" macaroni and cheese, if there can be such a thing. ;)
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 8 ounces penne rigate, dry (penne with ridges)
- 1 tablespoon black truffle oil
- 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
- 3 ounces applewood smoked bacon, minced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon minced basil
- 1⁄4 teaspoon minced thyme
- 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⁄8 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cups white extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1⁄2 cup pecans, quarters
- 1 cup smoked medium cheddar, shredded
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Bring 1 gallon of water to a rapid boil with the kosher salt in an 8-quart pot. Add pasta to water and stir. Boil for 5-6 minutes total. Pasta should be slightly undercooked at this point.
- Drain off all water through a colander, sit one minute and toss in a bowl with the black truffle oil. Reserve.
- Combine the shallots, bacon, garlic and olive oil in a 4-quart pot and cook slowly for 10 minutes using low heat. Add in the flour, raise heat to medium and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Temper in the heavy cream and bring to a boil.
- Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add in the herbs and seasonings. Stir in 3 cups of the extra-sharp cheddar until smooth.
- Add in the truffle-scented pasta and stir until evenly combined.
- Divide into individual shallow baking dishes and top with the pecans and the shredded medium cheddar.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes until bubbly and slightly browned on top.