Triple Truffle Mac and Cheese

Triple Truffle Mac and Cheese || Runway Chef Please don’t hate me for what I am about to do. I know you just got done inhaling enough turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy to feed a small country….but I couldn’t resist sharing this recipe for triple truffle mac and cheese. Yes, you read that correctly. Triple truffle. As in three types of truffle seasonings. As in three times the deliciousness. As in the best darn truffle mac and cheese to ever grace the face of the earth (a bit presumptuous of a statement, I know, but as they say, if the noodle fits…..Wait. They don’t say noodle?! They say shoe? Well, toe-mate-ohs, toe-mah-toes. Noodles, shoes. You know what I mean.). Mac and cheese in itself is the ultimate comfort food. But when you go ahead and add in all of the truffle things (I blame Trader Joe’s for this!) and the creamiest of cheeses, well, that’s just a recipe for heaven in a pan (and possibly a heart attack, but we’ll pretend we don’t know that). I must warn you, you might not be able to fit into your pants after eating this, your heart may have some trouble beating from all the cream and cheese, but I promise, it will be worth it. Just keep repeating after me “It will all be worth it….it will all be worth it…” Picture it with me for a minute and I think you’ll understand why. Cheesy, creamy, goodness embracing each piece of pasta like silk draping over skin, warmed to buttery perfection, topped with the crunchiest of toppings, and finished with a feathering of truffle essences in not one, not two, but three forms. Don’t even try to fool yourself…you know you want some….

Triple Truffle Mac and Cheese || Runway Chef Triple Truffle Mac and Cheese || Runway Chef Triple Truffle Mac and Cheese || Runway Chef Triple Truffle Mac and Cheese || Runway Chef Triple Truffle Mac and Cheese || Runway Chef

Triple Truffle Mac and Cheese
A creamy, decadent truffle infused mac 'n cheese, perfect for a cozy dinner in on a cold winter night
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
55 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
55 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound of pasta
  2. 4 tablespoon of butter (unsalted)
  3. 5 ounces mushrooms, sliced (should equal about 1 1/2 cups; I used baby bella mushrooms)
  4. 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  5. 3 tablespoons flour
  6. 1 1/4 cups heavy cream (see notes)
  7. 1 cup water
  8. 1/2 cup mushroom brie, cut into small pieces (found at Trader Joe's; can also use regular brie)
  9. 1 1/2 cups grated truffle cheese (I get mine at Trader Joe's)
  10. 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  11. 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese (I used a sharp white cheddar)
  12. 4-5 tablespoons of truffle oil (Again, I found mine at Trader Joe's, but I linked another one below)
  13. 1 teaspoon of truffle salt (You guessed it...I found mine at Trader Joe's, but I linked some below)
  14. Fresh ground pepper
  15. 3/4 cups of Italian or regular breadcrumbs
Instructions
  1. Bring a large oven-safe pot of water to boil. Toss in the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8-9 minutes. Drain, rinse under colder water, and set aside.
  2. Back in the pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Sauté the mushrooms until they are golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and set them aside.
  3. In the same pan, melt the remaining butter (should be 3 tablespoons) at medium heat, then toss in the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Use a whisk to stir in the flour, then slowly start adding the cream and water, a little at a time. Make sure to whisk after each addition to avoid any lumps. Continue mixing until all of the liquid has been added. Allow the sauce to cook for about 5-7 more minutes, or until it has thickened slightly, making sure to continue the stirring.
  4. Once the sauce has thickened and it begins to bubble, add in the cheeses. Stir until they are melted, then add in the mushrooms, as well as 2-3 tablespoons of the truffle oil (more or less depending on your tastes) and the truffle salt (again, you can adjust the amount based on your tastes preferences). Mix until everything is well combined then fold in the pasta. Season to taste with fresh ground pepper as well as any additional salt or oil.
  5. In a small bowl combine the breadcrumbs and the remaining truffle oil (about 2 tablespoons). Sprinkle this mixture on top of the pasta, then bake the mac n' cheese for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown, at 375 degrees. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. To balance out this heavy dish, I like to pair it with a light and fresh salad.
  2. For the pasta, I like to use a fun shape like campanelle, but you can use any type of pasta that you want.
  3. I prefer to make this in an oven-safe pan like my Le Creuset as it make this a one-dish meal with easy cleanup. If you don't have an oven-safe pan, feel free to use a pot or skillet for the stovetop steps then transfer the pasta to a baking dish before sprinkling it with the breadcrumb mixture. If you do use a baking dish, just be sure to bake the pasta for only about 15 minutes.
  4. For the heavy cream and water, you can also just use 2 1/4 cups of milk (I'd use 2%), or less cream and more water (i.e. 1 1/2 cups of water and 3/4 cups cream), or even half-and-half in place of the heavy cream. Whatever combination you settle on, just make sure to use 2 1/4 cups of total liquid.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/
Recipe Links
Truffle Oil
Truffle Salt

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Summertime Italian Pasta Salad

Summertime Italian Pasta Salad || Runway Chef One of the most common lunches we had growing up was pasta salad. There was no set recipe. It simply consisted of whatever veggies we had on hand, dressing, maybe some cheese and/or meat, always a bit of lettuce (which I hated at the time), and pasta (obviously). Because this is how I still make my pasta salads, I’ve never felt the need to write out an actual recipe (also, because the recipe would read something like “Take everything you have in your fridge and toss it in a bowl with some pasta.”). I lie. I did write down one pasta recipe, for this healthy deli-style pasta salad. It was so good that I knew it needed to be replicated and that was only possible with a recipe. But all other 27,895 pasta salads I’ve made in my lifetime are pretty much a one time deal. Until I made this salad. It’s kind of like the pasta salads I’m used to making where everything gets thrown into a bowl, except the things I threw into the bowl this time were so good, that like my deli pasta salad, it just had to be written down.

Summertime Italian Pasta Salad || Runway Chef Summertime Italian Pasta Salad || Runway Chef Summertime Italian Pasta Salad || Runway Chef

Summertime Italian Pasta Salad
A light & healthy pasta salad loaded with the fresh flavors of Italy
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. Pasta, cooked al dente (I used half a box)
  2. Proscuitto (I used 4 slices)
  3. Cherry Tomatoes (about 1/2 cup)
  4. Olives (about 1/2 cup)
  5. Radishes (about 3-4, sliced)
  6. Basil (a handful, shredded)
  7. Arugula (a large handful)
  8. Parmesan (about 1/4 cup, grated)
  9. Truffle cheese (optional; I used about 1/3 cup of mini cubes)
  10. Olive oil (a generous drizzle)
  11. Salt & pepper (to taste)
Instructions
  1. Toss all ingredients together in a large serving bowl. Drizzle generously with olive oil and toss with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, or store in the fridge for up to 2 days in a tightly sealed container.
Notes
  1. I put the amounts I used in parentheses, but please keep in mind all of these ingredients are completely adjustable, based on taste preference as well as what you have on hand. Feel free to leave anything out and/or add anything else in. I think this would taste great with some roasted corn or cauliflower as well as goat cheese.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/
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One-Pot Spaghetti

One-pot spaghetti

When I came across this recipe, it had my name written all over it (pasta, Italian, basil, easy) and I instantly knew I needed to make it. Silly me decided to start throwing it together before realizing I was missing half the ingredients. But they say everything happens for a reason (probably not a phrase meant for a pasta dish, but we’ll just go with it). Turns out, Mr. RC and I actually liked my highly edited version of the recipe so much better than the original (which we had made a few weeks after the above mentioned mishap). This just goes to show, that contrary to popular belief, mistakes can be a good thing….unless that mistake is drinking too much tequila, then you might have a problem.

One-pot spaghetti recipe

This pasta has quickly moved to the top of my favorites list (not an easy feat for an Italian girl with a secret, out-of-this world spaghetti and meatballs recipe that has been passed down through my family). It’s almost as easy to make as it is to turn on a microwave, it tastes delicious hot or cold, and that one whole pot thing, what a lifesaver (this also makes the perfect dish for having friends over for dinner).

easy recipe for one-pot pasta

One-Pot Spaghetti
Serves 8

1 box of Linguine or Fettucine noodles (I like whole wheat; please note you must use a thick noodle spaghetti noodle for this dish to work)
1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes (mine have basil added)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 teaspoon of garlic or regular salt
1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper
2 large sprigs of basil, torn
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
4 cloves of garlic chopped
1/2 a medium-sized onion, thinly sliced (optional; I’ve made it both with and without and each way tastes equally as good)
A small chunk of parmesan rind (completely optional, but the secret to great sauce)
Grated parmesan, for serving

 

In a large pot add all the ingredients, except for the grated parmesan. Fill up the empty tomato can with water and add that to the pot as well.

ingredients for one-pot spaghetti

how to make one-pot spaghetti

Start to cook the pasta on medium high. As the noodles begin to soften, use tongs to push them down into the liquid. Once the noodles are all in the sauce, turn the burner down to medium heat. Continue cooking for 10-15 more minutes, stirring every so often, until the noodles are al dente.

easy one-pot spaghetti Serve topped with grated parmesan and torn basil leaves, as well as a fresh green salad on the side.

This recipe is an original, but the idea is based on this recipe.

Shrimp Scampi Meatballs

My wild streak is continuing, only today it’s in the food category.

When I saw the Shrimp Scampi Meatball soup in the latest issue of Everyday Food I knew that it was time to give my own Shrimp Scampi recipe a make-over.

And don’t be fooled, this takes only a few more minutes to make than the original dish but the results are so worth the time!

 

Shrimp Scampi Meatballs

For the meatballs-

2 c. of peeled and deveined shrimp

1/2 c. white chicken meat (I used canned)

1/2 c. breadcrumbs

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

2 tsp. dried parsley flakes

1/2 tsp. salt

2 garlic cloves

2 inch wedge of lemon

1/4 c. milk

1/2 an onion, chopped

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 c. white wine

 

For the pasta-

1/2 box of spaghetti

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. butter

1 tsp. parsley flakes

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

Juice of half a lemon

A large pinch of salt

Grated Parmesan for topping

 

To start, heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet and saute the onions until very tender.  While the onions are sautéing, make the meatballs by placing the shrimp, chicken, garlic and the lemon in a food processor and grind until smooth. Add in all remaining meatball ingredients (except for the wine) and process a few more seconds until well mixed. Form the mixture in to meatballs and place in the skillet. Pour the wine over the meatballs, cover the pan with a lid and simmer until the liquid has been reduced to about half.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta til al dente. Drain the noodles and return to the pan. Toss with the remaining ingredients (except for the cheese), then gently (the meatballs aren’t as firm as regular meatballs) add in the meatball/wine/onion mixture. Serve topped with grated parmesan.

Adapted from Everyday Food

 

 

Sweet & Sour Spaghetti Sauce

NYFW ending means 2 things- 1) London Fashion Week is next (and I am extremely envious of  anyone that attends that!) and 2) We can start consuming carbs again (as if I ever really stop!).

Pasta will always hold a spot in my heart for favorite carbs (that would be the Italian in me), and this sauce is a favorite from childhood. Not only is it delicious and different, it’s super easy to make (meaning you can start consuming those carbs even sooner!).

 

Sweet & Sour Spaghetti Sauce

2 lbs. red onions (about 2 large or 3 medium), sliced

1/4 c. butter

2 tbsp. olive oil

1/4 tsp. of each salt and pepper

1/2 tsp. each dried basil and rosemary

1 bay leave

1 tsp. of sugar

A dash of cinnamon

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 qt. of canned tomatoes

2 c. dry red wine

1/4 c. dried currants or raisins (can be omitted)

1/4 c. red wine (or apple cider) vinegar

 

In a large skillet heat your butter and oil. Toss in the onions and saute until very tender, at least 30 minutes. Add in the garlic and spices and saute a few more minutes.

Stir in the remaining ingredients and let simmer, at minimum 15 minutes (you can keep this simmering on very low heat for several hours if you want to make this in advance). Serve over pasta with a sprinkling of parmesan.

Recipe from my Mom