Mac and cheese is a universal comfort food that makes everyone happy. I love this recipe because it is a great spin on a timeless classic. The six rich cheeses and fragrant truffle oil elevate this simple dish into something really special.
Technique tip: Make sure you add a decent amount of salt to the water you're boiling the pasta in. Make sure the water comes to a full boil before adding the pasta, to avoid overcooking.
Swap option: Most people have either a love or hate relationship with truffle. Truffle oil is totally optional. Some people also prefer to use milk to heavy cream. Heavy cream gives it a thicker creamier base, so that's my preference. If you're looking for something lighter, just use regular milk instead.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a cast iron skillet, and set aside.2.
Cook macaroni to instructions on packaging.3.
While the macaroni is cooking, start your roux. In a medium pot on low heat, melt the butter, sprinkle in the flour, and stir constantly until it makes a smooth, thick paste. Stir in heavy cream and whisk until smooth. Add garlic powder, pepper and seasoning salt to taste.4.
Begin adding the extra sharp cheddar, mozzarella, smoked Gouda, fontina and Parmesan to the mixture, stirring well each addition until the sauce is smooth.5.
Add truffle oil to taste (a little goes a long way!). Stir entire mixture until smooth.6.
Drain macaroni, and toss into pot with cheese sauce. Toss gently until well combined.7.
Pour pasta and cheese mixture into buttered skillet. Top with cheddar Jack and panko bread crumbs.8.
Bake for 25 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.