A Reinvented Classic
Photos by Carli Wentworth
The secret to truly delicious mac and cheese is using the best cheese. No skimping. The beauty to this recipe is that it can be easily altered by swapping out the cheese varieties. I like to use cavatappi pasta as my macaroni because it has ridges. Those “ridges” allow the cheese to stick to the pasta and helps every bite be cheesy. That way your dish will not have a pool of cheese in the bottom! Don’t fret if you can’t find lobster. Just omit it and you’ll still have a lusciously rich and delicious mac and cheese.
Decadent Lobster Mac and Cheese with Truffle Oil
1 lb De Cecco cavatappi pasta
1 qt half-and-half
1 stick unsalted butter, divided
1/2 c all-purpose flour
4 c Gruyere cheese, grated
2 c extra-sharp white cheddar, grated
1/2 c Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated and divided
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t fresh nutmeg
1 1/2 lb cooked lobster meat
1 1/2 c crusty stale French bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 375°. Spray large baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
In a large stock pot of boiling salted water, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Do not overcook. Drain well and drizzle with olive oil.
Meanwhile, heat the half-and-half in a small saucepan, but do not boil or it will separate. In a large pot, melt 6 tablespoons of butter and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot dairy and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Remove from heat, add the Gruyere, white cheddar, 1/4 cup Parmigiano cheese, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and lobster and stir well. Spoon the mixture into one large casserole pan.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine with the fresh bread crumbs and remaining parmesan cheese. Sprinkle on the top of macaroni. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.
Drizzle with truffle oil and serve.