Black Truffle Cheddar and Aged Havarti Mac and cheese Recipe

It’s the last day of the Aldi cheese advent calendar and they finished with a bang. This black truffle cheddar and aged havarti mac and cheese is everything you’d want from a Christmas Eve pasta. It’s packed with flavor and perfectly creamy.

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Using Cheese in Mac and Cheese

When you take a bite of cheese, I want you to pay attention to when the cheesy flavor starts to hit you. Often it comes out immediately, but fades away quickly. These are what I call opener cheeses. You want to include an opener cheese in your mac and cheese so that when you take a bite you’re immediately welcomed with cheesiness.

On the other hand, some cheeses take a few seconds for the flavor to develop but hold throughout the end of the bite. These are closer cheeses, and you want to include their flavors so that the cheesy flavor holds consistent throughout the bite.

Well-rounded mac and cheese recipes include both opener and closer flavors to guarantee that every second is full of flavor.

Black truffle cheddar

Truffle is a flavor I tend to avoid. Too easily it can overpower the other flavors in your dish so that it only tastes like truffle. However, the black truffle in this cheddar is subtle enough that it compliments the cheese instead of overpowering it.

Cheddar is your quintessential opener cheese. It welcomes you to the bowl with cheesy flavor, and the truffle flavor finishes out the end of the bite.

Aged havarti

Aged havarti is a great closer cheese to include with other powerful cheeses. It packs a ton of cheesy flavor in a small package. Havarti is another one of those cheeses that can cross the line between opener and closer territory, but aged havarti is almost guaranteed to be a closer cheese.

Penne Pasta in Black Truffle Cheddar and Aged Havarti Mac and cheese

Pasta is a key component in mac and cheese. So much more than just the vehicle to get cheese sauce into your mouth, the right pasta adds tons of texture to make eating a great experience.

The right pasta shape sits perfectly in that Goldilocks spot between too large and too small. Dan Pashman coined the phrase “forkability” when creating his pasta shape, and it’s an important feature to consider in your recipes. If your pasta is too large, your dish will be annoying and difficult to eat. But if your noodle is too small, you lose valuable texture. Penne sits in that perfect happy place and offers plenty of crevices to hold onto sauce.

Toppings

Toppings add interest to your mac and cheese. While not necessary, they add layers of texture, color, and flavor that you don’t get from just cheese sauce and pasta.

In this recipe, I used tortilla strips. I grab them in the salad section of our grocery store and they add a crunch to this mac and cheese.

Reheating Black Truffle Cheddar and Aged Havarti Mac and cheese

Mac and cheese is notoriously difficult to reheat. While delicious the day it’s made, you have to eat it all that day or it won’t reheat at all. However, with roux-based mac and cheese this isn’t a concern. A minute or two in the microwave and you’ll have delicious, creamy mac and cheese.

Add a Fork

Black truffle cheddar and aged havarti mac and cheese is a delicious blend of flavors perfect for any celebration.

Black Truffle Cheddar and Aged Havarti Mac and cheese REcipe

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Entree, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound cavatappi Or other medium sized pasta

For the Sauce

  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 3 tbsp Flour
  • 3 cups Whole milk
  • 4 oz Black Truffle cheddar Grated
  • 4 oz Aged Havarti Grated
  • 1/2 tbsp Better than bullion Chicken flavor
  • 1 tsp Ground mustard

Toppings

  • Tortilla strips

Instructions
 

  • Cook the pasta according to package directions in well salted water. If you think it’s salty enough, add more.

Prepare the Sauce

  • 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. Stir in mustard powder and Better than Bullion
  • 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.

Plate your Pasta

  • Layer pasta with tortilla strips. Serve immediately.
Keyword aged havarti, black truffle cheddar, penne, tortilla strips