Break out the special-occasion ingredients this time of year. Comforting macaroni and cheese reaches a new level with a drizzle of sumptuous truffle oil. Try baking individual portions in buttered muffin pans, and pass a tray of mini macs at your next party.
Truffled Mac & Cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lb. (500 g.) elbow macaroni
2 tsp. truffle oil
4 Tbs. (2 oz./60 g.) butter, plus more for greasing
1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g.) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml.) milk
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml.) half-and-half
1 1/2 cups (6 oz./185 g.) shredded Gruyere cheese
1 1/2 cups (6 oz./185 g.) shredded white Cheddar cheese
2 Tbs. minced chives
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Butter a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm.) baking dish.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook, stirring occasionally, until not quite al dente, about 2 minutes less than the package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. While the pasta is still warm, drizzle with the truffle oil and stir well.
Add the butter to the saucepan and melt it over medium-high heat. Add the flour, paprika and mustard and cook, stirring well, until no visible flour remains, 1-3 minutes. Whisk in the milk, half-and-half, and a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Simmer, whisking frequently to smooth out any lumps, for 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add a pinch of pepper and 1 cup (4 oz./125 g.) each of the Gruyere and Cheddar. Stir until smooth.
Pour the cheese sauce onto the macaroni, add the chives and mix well. Transfer to the prepared dish and top with the remaining cheeses. Bake until the top is lightly browned and the sauce is bubbly, 25-30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 6.
Find more simple one-dish dinners in our cookbook One Pot of the Day by Kate McMillan.