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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

Elevating Mac'n'Cheese: Truffled Pasta + 2023 iLauri 'Chiola' Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo Rosato #WinePW

Updated: Jun 10

When the theme popped up of 'junk food' pairings for a future wine writers' event, I was excited to dive in - not because I love junk food. On the contrary, I usually steer clear of typical junk food, but I also feel as if when you make it, it's slightly less junky. And I do love a challenge.



Here are the posts from the other writers who accepted the challenge...



When Wendy announced the theme, I shared Homemade Snickers and a Pairing with a Dessert Wine from Uruguay and Indian-Spiced Fried Chicken + 2018 Castle Rock Rosé of Pinot Noir. Candy bars and fried chicken seem pretty junky, right?


My Junky Inspiration


But what really inspired me into the kitchen was our Mothers' Day hike in the redwoods. Our older son was telling us about the week of mac'n'cheese that he and his roommates had just cooked. One of them made mac'n'cheese waffles; he made mac'n'cheese with prosciutto and a wine pairing. Not a single one of them used the blue box! That made me proud.

You know when you see a food made into gummy form, it's truly a junk food! I found these at a local market though I didn't buy them. I almost bought them as a gag gift, but figured I would rather spend ten dollars on something they would actually eat! But I definitely had mac'n'cheese on the brain after that.


In My Glass


When my best girlfriends took me grocery shopping for my birthday - long story! - we ended up at Eataly in San Jose. I knew I was going to make an elevated mac'n'cheese and hunted for a wine to go with it. I picked up a bottle of 2023 iLauri 'Chiola' Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo Rosato.


First, just a few thoughts about Rosato. Whether it's Rosé, Rosado (in Spain), Rosato (in Italy) - these terms all refer to pink wine. And they are all made in the same way. All pink wines are made from red grape varietals with the shade of pink determined by a number of factors, including how long the grapes are macerated in their skins and the coloring capabilities of the varietal.


This bottle is made by Antonella and Rodrigo Redmont in Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo, the newest DOC of the Abruzzo region. The Redmonts named their project iLauri after the abundant bay laurels on their property. Made from Montepulciano grapes, they macerate for a shorter time than the Montepulciano that become a red wine.


In the glass the wine pours a stunning bright, clear salmon hue. On the nose, red fruits abound with aromas of cherries and raspberries. Those flavors are mirrored on the palate in this dry, deeply fruity, balanced wine. Hints of blood orange and a tinge of spice make this a truly delightful, nuanced pour.


My Elevated Mac'N'Cheese


You know how In'N'Out has 'Animal-Style'? Well, we have mac'n'cheese, Camilla-style. Despite what one of my friends said about me becoming a mom and cooking out of "the blue box", I can proudly say that my kids do not eat that kind of macaroni and cheese.


My version is a family favorite. But here are some clarifications...


  • Mine may or may not actually contain any mac(aroni), or elbow pasta. For this version I used gigli Toscani.

  • Mine is not orange. I use whatever cheese I have on hand. For this version I used three kinds of cheese made with truffles. So, it was mostly white-hued.

  • Mine is not plain. Last night I tossed in some truffle salt, a splash of black truffle oil, and even some thinly sliced dehydrated black truffles.


Ingredients


  • pasta

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 2-1/2 cups shredded or crumbled cheeses (I used three different kinds of truffle cheeses from Italy)

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced cheese (again, I used another truffle cheese)

  • 2 Tablespoons sliced, dehydrated black truffles

  • 1/2 teaspoon truffle salt

  • Also needed: baking dish


Procedure


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook pasta according to package directions.


Place cream in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once the cream starts to steam around the rim, add in the shredded cheese. Remove from heat and let stand for three minutes. Whisk till smooth.

Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta, turning to coat as much as possible. Fold in the truffle salt and truffle slices - keep a few of the truffles for the top. Turn the pasta into your baking dish and lay the slices of cheese over the top. Scatter the top with a few more truffle slices and place into the preheated oven.


Bake until the cheese is melted with some golden brown an crisped sections. Serve hot.


That's a wrap for my junk food offering for #WinePW. I know the group will be back for #ItalianFWT in July, but I am unsure of the theme. Stay tuned!

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2 Comments


Martin Redmond
Martin Redmond
Jun 12

I've been wanting to try a Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo for some time now. You've inspired me to try harder! Great pairing Cam. As I've said before...You're a wonder!

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Wendy Klik
Wendy Klik
Jun 07

I would love a serving of that delcious bowl of comfort and a glass of the rosato wine. Thanks for joining me this month.

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