Truffle Crab Macaroni & Cheese
We really like truffle oil. Like a lot. Unfortunately, truffle oil is crazy expensive. We spent $14 on a tiny bottle according to the price sticker remaining on the bottle. We still had half a bottle to use up before the move, so on a whim I added it to the crab macaroni and cheese I was making. We were already going fancy using Dungeness crab, so why not make it double fancy?
I've been thinking about making a homemade version of the crab mac and cheese dish I really enjoyed at a Seattle area bar and grill. I figured I should make it before we left since I assume Dungeness crab meat should be slightly cheaper in Seattle, closer to the source, than Los Angeles. Maybe it's a little cheaper, but man Dungeness crab is expensive. But it's so sweet and not overly salty like some crab. Since I was buying so much at the store, the fish guy gave me a sizable sample to taste. So good.
The original I was basing this recipe off of uses fennel, but I didn't see any at the grocery store during my quick trip, so I decided to add flavor using truffle oil and my favorite herb of all, basil. The original also uses a mixture of mascarpone, goat, cheddar, and swiss cheese. I used all of those cheeses except I replaced swiss with gruyere. Thanks to the mascarpone, this was by far the creamiest mac and cheese I've ever made— so indulgent. Definitely best served with a simply dressed side salad to cut down on calories.
Also what's up with our Trader Joe's not selling macaroni pasta? Instead I had to buy orrachetti. It tasted all the same, but looked a little weird for mac and cheese. Additionally you can add breadcrumbs to the top if you want some crunch, but I didn't have any and actually think it tasted better without.
Truffle Crab Macaroni & Cheese
- 1 pound macaroni pasta
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- 1/2 cup gruyere cheese, freshly grated
- 5 ounces goat cheese
- 5 ounces mascarpone cheese
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon truffle oil
- 1/2 pound crab meat
- 1/2 cup parmesan, shaved
- 1/4 cup basil, chiffonade
- Preheat oven to 350º and spray an 8"x8" baking dish with cooking spray.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta to al dente (about 2 minutes less than what the package calls for).
- While cooking the pasta, heat the butter in a large, wide saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the onion and garlic for several minutes until fragrant.
- Add the flour and create a roux.
- Slowly pour in the milk and allow the mixture to thicken, stirring constantly.
- Stir in the four kinds of cheese until smooth.
- Season with salt, pepper, and truffle oil.
- Drain pasta and add to cheese sauce pan. Coat all pasta with sauce.
- Gently fold in the crab meat along with the basil. Pour into baking dish.
- Sprinkle parmesan over the top.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes and then broil on high for a minute or two, or until the top is barely browned.
- Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.