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French in a Flash: Truffled Macaroni Gratin

French in a Flash: Truffled Macaroni Gratin

[Photographs: Kerry Saretsky]

I have a New Year tradition. A bottle of champagne and truffles. I have both every year—I think it brings good fortune to have fortunate food on the first of the year. This year, it will be a bottle of rosé and this truffled macaroni gratin. How could that not herald great things?

I start this off, like all great mac and cheeses, with a roux: but this roux begins with truffle butter. Once it is smooth and rich and dappled with bits of black truffle as eggnog is with cinnamon, I add in the cheddar, Gruyère, and the brie, and the rigatoni. I rub fresh baguette crumbs with truffle butter and bake them over the top. Drizzle with black truffle oil, and serve bubbling. It is a cauldron of happiness full of spells to enchant the new year.

About the author: Kerry Saretsky is the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way. She also writes the The Secret Ingredient series for Serious Eats.

French in a Flash: Truffled Macaroni Gratin

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About This Recipe

Yield:4
This recipe appears in: Recipes for Bastille Day

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons black truffle butter, plus 1 tablespoon, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 3 ounces grated Gruyère
  • 3 ounces grated sharp white cheddar
  • 1/4 pound mild brie, rind removed
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup baguette crumbs
  • Black truffle oil, for drizzling
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Procedures

  1. 1

    Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  2. 2

  3. 3

    Cook the rigatoni in salted boiling water until just shy of al dente. It will continue to soften in the oven, so the last thing you want is soggy over-cooked pasta.

  4. 4

  5. 5

    20091129TruffleBechamel.jpg

  6. 6

    Mix the cooked, drained rigatoni with the cheese sauce in a large bowl. Add the heavy cream, and toss. Divide into 4 buttered individual gratin dishes (you could also use a large baking dish). Use your fingers to rub the remaining tablespoon of truffle butter into the bread crumbs and the reserved cheese. Divide the topping evenly over the 4 gratin dishes.

  7. 7

    20091129TruffleMacaronPreBake.jpg

  8. 8

    Place the dishes on a baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes, until the béchamel is bubbling, and the crumbs are golden. Drizzle with a touch of black truffle oil, and serve super hot.

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