I’m not exactly thrilled to be back in Australia after the past two weeks I’ve had overseas… and that’s mainly due to the weather. Even though I love winter, I’m always caught off guard arriving at the airport and being forced to transition from the humid & balmy overseas climate of Bali to the freezing cold Australian winter. Despite the sudden cold snap, it does feel good to be back to the creature comforts of home.
There’s nothing quite like sitting in the comfort of your home while it’s freezing outside, rugged up, with a hot bowl of pasta (and a glass of pinot noir). Everyone needs a simple yet extravagantly delicious pasta recipe to pull out when inspiration has packed its bags.
One of my personal favourite recipes is Macaroni and Cheese, which brings back instant childhood nostalgia. However so, I have re-invented the classic Macaroni and Cheese dish by adding two of my favourite ingredients, black truffles and gruyere cheese. The addition of these ingredients takes standard Macaroni and Cheese to a completely different level (a rather expensive level). For me, this is the epitome of decadent ‘adult’ winter comfort food…which I have so been missing since being away.
Whilst I ease myself (unwillingly) back into routine, I can take comfort knowing that my next overseas holiday is coming soon around the corner… can time just pass already!
- 4 cups of full cream milk
- 1 cauliflower
- 75g unsalted butter
- 75g plain flour
- 400g macaroni
- 60ml truffle oil
- 3 whole black truffles (optional)
- 250g mozzarella
- 1 medium block of gruyere cheese
- Cook the macaroni in a saucepan of boiling salted water according to packet instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Place milk in a pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add half the cauliflower and cook until tender, drain and reserve the milk.
- Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor, blend until a smooth paste forms. Season with salt.
- To make the cauliflower béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir until combined, thickened and smooth.
- Gradually add reserved hot milk and keep whisking until a smooth, thickened sauce forms.
- Add the cauliflower puree, combine and set aside.
- Preheat an oven grill.
- Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil and blanch the remaining cauliflower until tender. Drain.
- Combine the macaroni, cauliflower béchamel sauce, truffle oil and cauliflower florets in a large bowl with half the mozzarella cheese and a generous serve of grated gruyere cheese (to personal taste).
- Grate the whole truffles over the macaroni mixture.
- Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon the mixture into a baking dish and top with remaining mozzarella and gruyere (to personal taste).
- Grill for 5-10 minutes or until golden.
- Season and serve.