Truffled Lobster Mac and Cheese

Total Time:
2 hr 20 min
45 min
1 hr
35 min

1 serving

  • Cavatelli:
  • 2 cups durum wheat flour (semolina) or all-purpose flour (or you can use 1 cup durum wheat and 1 cup all-purpose), plus more as needed for dusting and kneading
  • Salt
  • 1/2 to 1 cup room-temperature water
  • Lobster Cheese Sauce:
  • 3 ounces olive oil
  • 1 Florida lobster, split and cleaned
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 3 tablespoons crushed or chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 3 ounces brandy
  • 2 ounces clarified butter
  • 2 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 ounces grated provolone
  • 2 ounces grated asiago cheese
  • 2 ounces grated fontina cheese
  • 2 ounces grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/2 tablespoon truffle oil
  • Crumb Topping:
  • 4 ounces panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 ounce butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 ounce truffle oil
  • Pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the cavatelli: Mix the flour and 1 teaspoon salt into a mound on a clean working counter or large cutting board. Make a well in the middle. Build the well as high as possible to avoid water running out. Add some of the water to the well and use a dinner fork or your fingers to gently mix the flour into the water without collapsing the walls of the mound. Using your other hand to support the wall of flour helps keep the water from leaking. As you mix, slowly add more water to form a soft and sticky dough. It should not be either too dry or too wet. When you touch it, it should stick to your finger only slightly. Keep in mind that as you knead, the dough gets softer. If the dough is too wet, add a little flour. Knead the dough with a periodic dust of flour for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest about 1 hour. If you don't have time, 20 minutes would do.

  • This is only 1 of many ways to shape the cavatelli: Cut off a small piece of dough and roll it into a long rope about 1 centimeter (.4 inch) in diameter. Cut the dough into 1-centimeter-long (.4-inch-long) pieces. Place a piece in front of you horizontally and rest your index and middle fingers on it. Press the dough as you pull your fingers towards you. As you pull, the dough rolls to form the cavatelli shape. Place the pasta pieces on a lightly-floured baking sheet or plate.

  • For the lobster cheese sauce: Heat a stockpot with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the lobster shell-side down and saute for 6 minutes. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and peppercorns and sweat the vegetables, then add the brandy and cook for about 4 minutes. Remove the lobster and set aside. Add 4 cups water to the pot, bring to a boil and simmer until reduced by at least 25 percent.

  • Meanwhile, make the roux. Add the clarified butter to a pan over low heat and gradually whisk in the flour until it gets very thick.

  • Strain the stock and place it back in the same pot. Bring to a boil, whisk in the heavy cream and roux and simmer to the desired consistency. Stir in the provolone, asiago, fontina and Parmesan until melted. Stir in the truffle oil.

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Cook about 6 ounces of the cavatelli until they float to the top and are al dente, about 4 minutes.

  • For the crumb topping: Mix together the breadcrumbs, parsley, butter, truffle oil and a pinch salt and pepper in a small bowl.

  • Remove the lobster meat from the shell and cut it into pieces. Fold it into the cheese sauce, then fold in the pasta. Pour the mixture into an ovensafe dish and top with the crumb topping. Bake for about 6 minutes. Enjoy your Truffled Lobster Mac and Cheese!

Professional Recipe: This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe in the proportions indicated and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.

Cook's Note: To freeze any leftover fresh cavatelli, let them dry on the baking sheet first for about an hour or so and then freeze them on the tray. This way, they don't stick to each other. After they are frozen, move them into a zipper bag and put them back into the freezer.

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