Truffle Cheddar and Asiago Mac and Cheese Recipe
Our final Aldi Advent Cheese Calendar recipe is truffle cheddar and Asiago mac and cheese. Bold flavors balance together beautifully for a dish that would work well as an entree with toppings to bulk it up or perfect as a side dish to a more substantial entree.
Every year, Aldi releases a cheese Advent calendar. The calendar contains one individually wrapped piece of cheese for each day. There are twelve different cheeses available so we have two opportunities to explore different recipes we can make to feature each cheese. This is one of those recipes. Follow along here.
When you take a bite of cheese, pay attention to when the flavor hits you. Sometimes the flavor hits immediately and slowly fades. These are what I call Opener cheeses. Other cheeses take a few seconds for the flavor to develop and carry throughout the bite. This is a closer cheese. Well rounded mac and cheese dishes make use of both opener and closer flavors. This way the cheesy flavor carries from the beginning of the bite throughout the end.
Cheddar is generally an opener cheese. It’s a flavor that welcomes you to the bowl. Cheddar flavors are immediate when you eat it, so your initial bite is full of cheesy flavor.
Cheeses aren’t the only ingredient that provide opener or closer flavors, and you need to take inclusions into consideration when planning your recipes. Truffle can act as a closer, and is one of those flavors that can quickly overpower the rest of the dish if you aren’t careful. Fortunately, Aldi took that into consideration when they created this cheese. The truffle is light and accentuates the cheese without overwhelming everything else.
Asiago is always a closer cheese. It’s bold and packed with flavor – perfect for pairing with other bold flavors. It’s easy to get your hands on, and perfect for closing out a bowl of comfort food.
One of the most important decisions to consider when building a mac and cheese recipe is the pasta. You have to carefully walk the line between too large and too small. When Dan Pashman was trying to create his own pasta, he coined the term “forkability”. The perfect pasta shape has to be easy to stab with a fork. If your pasta is too long, it will be cumbersome and difficult to eat. On the other hand, smaller noodles are also difficult to eat and nearly impossible with a fork. For beginner mac and cheese chefs, small pasta will more easily show defects in your sauce, running the risk of your dish becoming a soupy mess.
In this Truffle Cheddar and Asiago mac and cheese recipe, I used rotini. It sits in that perfect Goldilocks spot between too large and too small, and offers plenty of ridges to hold onto sauce making sure every bite is full of cheesy flavor.
Add a Fork
Truffle Cheddar and Asiago mac and cheese is a bold, flavorful recipe perfect paired with substantial toppings as an entree or as a side dish.
Truffle Cheddar and Asiago Mac and Cheese
- 16 oz pasta cooked according to package directions
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- 4 oz Truffle Cheddar, grated
- 4 oz Asiago, grated
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- Pre heat your milk in the microwave for 45 seconds – just enough to take the chill out of it.
- Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat and let it heat until it becomes foamy.
- Mix in flour. Cook it for a minute while stirring constantly
- Slowly add warmed milk to the butter mixture 1/4 cup at a time. Whisk it continually until combined. Season generously with salt and fresh cracked pepper.
- Once all of the milk is added, cook for a few minutes while whisking it. Do not let it boil. You will feel the sauce start to thicken. It’s ready for cheese when you rub a small amount between your fingers and it feels silky.
- Remove from heat and stir in your cheese until it’s melted and mixed into the sauce.
- Once the cheese is incorporated, use a cooked noodle to taste your sauce. If it doesn’t taste cheesy enough try adding a little more salt to bring out the flavor.
- Combine the pasta and sauce and serve.