I don’t even know where to begin. This is dish is rich. It’s creamy. It’s cheesy. The roasted tomato jam on top balances the truffles in the Gouda cheese. Daniel said this is a dinner party worthy dish. Which made me have all the feels.
There are so many different ways you can make Mac n Cheese. Everyone and their grandma has a different way of doing it. It can be the type of noodle you use, or wether you use cream vs milk. Do you put an egg in it, or no? What type of cheese do you like to use? Mac n Cheese can be a debate on the way it’s made. Kinda like meatloaf. But one thing we can all agree on I think, is the fact that Mac n Cheese is a down right comfort dish.
My Mac n cheese is pretty basic. If you don’t like Gouda or truffles, you can use any kind of cheese you want. Be inventive with your Mac n cheese, there is no wrong way. I used in this dish, Truffled Gouda, Regular Gouda, Garlic and Thyme. I always make a béchamel base before adding the cheese. I find a béchamel makes the Mac n Cheese creamier. I also switch up the pasta all the time. I don’t like using the same pasta constantly.
First you make the rue, which is equal parts butter and flour, plus milk. Usually béchamel calls for whole milk. I usually use 2%. I try to cut where I can.
Once the béchamel thickens I add the cheese. I love watching the cheese melt. It’s very soothing, and satisfying.
When you make the sauce, it’s very important to continue the whisking/ stirring process. You don’t want to burn it. I found that out early on, about 12 yrs ago when making my first béchamel. Oops! Needless to say there was some caramelized pieces in the béchamel.
Once cheese is all melted and pasta is all cooked. Go ahead and dump the pasta into the sauce. Make sure you get all the pasta covered. You want every bite to be creamy and with an explosion of cheese.
I went the extra mile tonight. I needed something to balance the rich truffle flavor. I thought a roasted tomato jam would help cut the decadent flavors coming out of the Mac. And it proves correct. Just adds that extra layer of flavor.
I roasted cherry tomatoes with onions, garlic, thyme and balsamic glaze. I did this until they were starting to get caramelized. Once cooked a bit I mashed them in a bowl with a fork., until it became a jam like texture.
I spooned the Mac on a plate with a heaping dollop of the jam on top. Added a side of roasted broccolini. Now remember you don’t have to use Truffled Gouda cheese. You can use whatever cheese you want
All together this dish takes about 45mins serves 4-6
Truffled Mac n Cheese
• 3 Tbsp Unsalted butter
• 3 Tbsp Flour
• 3 cups of Milk (I used 2%)
• 3 Garlic cloves minced
• A sprinkle of salt
• 1tsp ground black pepper
• 5 sprigs of Thyme
• 1 1/2 cups of cubed Truffled Gouda
• 1 1/2 cups of Gouda
• 1 lbs Pasta of your choice
Roasted Tomato Jam
• 2 cups Cherry tomatoes
• 1/4 Yellow onion sliced and then chopped in half
• 1 Garlic clove minced
• 3 Springs if thyme leaves removed
• 1 Tbsp Olive oil
• A drizzle of balsamic glaze
Pre heat oven to 400
1) In a Dutch Oven or a heavy bottom pot, turn heat to Medium High heat on the stove top. Take another large pot and fill it with water and bring it to a boil. Cook your pasta drain set aside.
2) Once your Dutch Oven gets warm, add you butter. Let it melt. Once melted, add your flour and whisk. You want your flour and butter to become sand like. Now add you Garlic, Salt and Pepper. Continue whisking.
3) Slowly add your milk, and continue whisking. Add your thyme and keep the whisking going. You need to bring the milk to a low boil. If you start to really boil, turn your heat to medium. Keep whisking, making sure the bottom doesn’t burn. You will be whisking for about 10 mins on and off.
4) Mean while on a baking sheet line with parchment paper. Place all the Tomato Jam ingredients on the sheet. Toss together and throw in the oven for about 20 mins.
5) Once your Béchamel is nice and thick add your cheese. Keep whisking/stirring. By this point you may want to switch to a large wooden or cooking spoon. Stir until all the cheese is melted.
6) When the cheese is all melts, pour in the pasta. Mix all together, and make sure every nook and cranny has cheese all over.
7) Pull the tomato’s out of the oven. Place in a bowl, and start to mash the tomatoes with a fork. You want to do this until it starts to form a jam like consistency. Place Mac n Cheese on a plate or bowl and top with the jam.
Your ready to serve. Enjoy!