Truffled Mac and Cheese

1 pound pasta, such as cavatappi

4 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

1 cup half and half

12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

4 ounces cream cheese

2 ounces Romano cheese, grated

2-3 tbsp OLIVE & VINE White Truffle oil

1/2 teaspoon paprika

2 tablespoons red bell pepper, finely diced

2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

sea salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375F. Butter a 9x12 baking dish and set aside.

Cook pasta to al dente, according to package instructions. Set aside until needed.

In a medium sauce pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour into the butter and whisk together. Continue to cook and whisk for 2-3 minutes, making sure it doesn't burn. This is your roux.

Gradually pour the milk into the flour mixture while whisking. This needs to be done slowly to keep the sauce from being lumpy.

Add the half and half, paprika, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine.

Add the cream cheese and whisk until its completely blended in, then add in the grated Romano cheese. After it has been blended completely, add in the shredded cheddar 1/3 at a time. Keep whisking until each addition is blended into the sauce.

Add 1-2 tablespoons of truffle oil depending on how prominent you want the truffle oil flavor to be. Whisk until fully incorporated.

Add the red pepper and half of the parsley.

Add the cooked pasta and stir to fully coat pasta with cheese sauce.

Pour noodles into the prepared baking dish. Top with panko breadcrumbs. Drizzle remaining truffle oil over the breadcrumbs.

Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes, until breadcrumbs are golden.

Remove from oven and allow to sit for about five minutes before serving.

(Adapted from Ask Chef Dennis.)