The addition of truffle and truffle-infused oil heightens an already indulgent dish. To make this dish more wallet friendly, use jarred black truffles packed in water for the sauce and splurge on fresh for garnish.
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 8 oz. hollow pasta, preferably elbow macaroni or shells
- 3⁄4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1⁄2 tsp. paprika
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1⁄4 cup flour
- 1⁄8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 3 cups milk
- 15 oz. Velveeta, cut into 1" cubes
- 12 oz. grated Gruyère (about 2 cups)
- 2 oz. blue cheese, crumbled (about ¼ cup)
- 1 tsp. finely chopped black truffles
- 1 tsp. black truffle-infused oil
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Thinly sliced black truffle, for garnish
Heat oven to 375°. Bring a 4-qt. saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked halfway through, about 3 minutes for elbow macaroni. Drain pasta; set pasta aside. Melt 3 tbsp. butter in a bowl and stir in panko; set aside.
Wipe out pan and set over medium heat. Melt the remaining butter and add the paprika, thyme, shallots, and bay leaf; cook, stirring often, until shallots are soft, about 5 minutes. Add flour and cayenne and stir until mixture thickens, 1 minute. Whisk in milk and cook, continuing to whisk often, until sauce has thickened and coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Discard thyme and bay leaf and remove pan from heat.
Stir in Velveeta, half the Gruyère, and the blue cheese; continue stirring until smooth. Stir in pasta, chopped truffles, oil and season sauce with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to an 8"x 8" baking dish. Sprinkle remaining Gruyère over top of pasta and then top with breadcrumbs.
Transfer baking dish to an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet and bake until macaroni and cheese is golden brown and bubbly, 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving; garnish with thinly sliced truffles, if you like.