Inspiration is a funny thing. Sometimes, it comes in a quick flash of lightning – the A-HA! moment. Sometimes, it arrives on the soft cloud of a dream. Other times, it arrives in the mail.
This time, it arrived in the mail – bless my MIL, she sent us three more artisanal cheeses!!! These cheeses came from Pedrozo Dairy and Cheese Co. in Orland, California. I unwrapped the parcel slowly, savoring the anticipation. When everything was unwrapped, three beautiful cheeses stood before me on the counter top: Tipsy Cow, a cow’s milk cheese washed in Petite Syrah; Black Butte, a cow’s milk cheese aged for six months; and Tartufello, a cow’s milk cheese combined with black truffles.
Same drill as before: I let the cheeses sit out to come to room temperature before we sampled – they were all delicious but I truly loved the Tartufello. With these lovely cheeses in the house, what to do but make a luscious, one-of-a-kind mac and cheese with them?
Since I did a truffled mac and cheese awhile back, I wanted to make this one really special. Not just truffled, but triple-truffled – truffled cubed! Or something like that. And both black and white truffles! Why not, indeed. Three layers of truffle flavor – in the cheese itself, with extra layers of truffle flavor courtesy of truffle oil and truffle salt.
My ingredient list was simple and straightforward: milk, flour, butter, pasta, cheeses, truffle oil, truffle salt and a little black pepper. I weighed each of the cheeses to make sure the recipe would turn out as expected, then removed the rind from each and shredded them.
The scent rising from my food processor after shredding the cheeses was heavenly. Next, prepare the pasta in a large pot (I went with Barilla Plus elbows) according to package directions, then drain and set aside.
Using the same large pot you used to cook the pasta, melt the butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted and is turning a slightly tan color, whisk in the flour and cook, whisking, for about two minutes. Slowly add the milk, still whisking, and continue to cook over medium heat (yes, still whisking) for about five minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken.
Add the truffle oil and stir to combine. Add the three cheeses and stir until the cheeses are all melted and happy. Add the truffle salt and season with pepper to taste.
Add the elbows to the cheese sauce and stir to combine, then plate and garnish with some fresh thyme or chives.
Doesn’t that look scrumptious? And you can’t imagine how good it smells!
Three and a half elbows for this one – it was luscious with a piquant edge. Combined with the mellow of the truffle flavor, it came together very well. Nice truffly earthiness and I found that the truffle salt was the only salt needed.
Here is my recipe.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 8 ounces Pedrozo's Tipsy Cow cheese, shredded
- 7 ounces Pedrozo's Black Butte cheese, shredded
- 8 ounces Pedrozo's Tartufello cheese, shredded
- 14.25 ounces Barilla Plus elbows
- 2 cups fat-free milk
- 1 tablespoon white truffle oil
- 1 teaspoon white truffle salt
- Black pepper to taste
- Fresh thyme or chives for garnish
- Cook the elbows according to the package directions. Drain, then set aside.
- Using the large pot the pasta was cooked in, melt the butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the flour and whisk constantly, cooking for two minutes.
- Still whisking, slowly add the milk and continue to cook/whisk until the sauce thickens, about five minutes.
- Add truffle oil, then the three Pedrozo's cheeses. Stir over low heat until the cheeses are melted. Add truffle salt and black pepper to taste.
- Add the elbows to the sauce and stir to combine.
- Plate and garnish with fresh thyme or chives, if you wish.
- Serve and scarf down immediately!
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