Make This: White Cheddar & Parmesan Truffle Pasta
Who loves cheese? I do! For fans of cheese, we know that it exists in its own world of delectable dairy creations made by friendly microorganisms.
When trying out new cheeses, it is best to keep it simple and taste it on its own or on a cracker. There are types of cheese that are very strong and pungent that they are best consumed this way in small portions.
Cheese also adds depth of flavor into cooked dishes, like this creamy pasta recipe that I’m excited to share with you.
But first, here are some interesting information about cheese:
- Cheese is made with as little as three ingredients: milk, starter culture (fermenting bacteria) and salt. Beyond this, different regions and countries have different styles of making cheese so that there are nearly 2,000 varieties of cheese worldwide.
- Cheese can be an important and nutrient-dense part of a healthy diet. It contributes protein, calcium, vitamin B12, and phosphorus to the diet. For some vegetarians, cheese and other dairy foods are important sources of high-quality protein.
- For people with lactose intolerance, cheese can be a source of dairy nutrients with minimal lactose. In the fermentation process, bacteria eats or breaks down the lactose in milk, therefore creating a product with lower lactose content.
Why is pasta a good vehicle for cheese?
If our goal is to allow an ingredient to shine, we must choose a very neutral base. And pasta — as well as potatoes — would be a very good canvass that would showcase this cheesy cream sauce.
I personally prefer regular shaped pasta such as spaghetti, linguini, and penne (featured) for cream sauces. With the sauce being so rich, I don’t want to have excessive amounts of it tucked in the nooks and crannies of spiral-shaped pastas.
I would use trivelle/spirals for a lighter oil-based pasta for the opposite reason — I want more flavor as possible in every bite. The greater surface area provided by the spiral shape allows for this.
Making the cheesy cream sauce
When cooking, you should always keep in mind the flavors that you want to stand out. In this case, it is cheese and truffle. This means that all other ingredients should just support these flavors and don’t take away from their spotlight.
You should also know how each ingredient tastes on its own. For example, the white cheddar is only mildly salty, not too sharp, but has a bit of a bite in terms of flavor. So I know from here that I would need help from a sharper cheese like parmesan to bring out the cheesiness in the sauce. White truffle oil on the other hand is strongly earthy, hence I have to be careful with adding too much of this.
For 500g of uncooked weight pasta, I sauteed 5 cloves of minced garlic and 1 minced medium white onion in olive oil, then added sliced button mushrooms — a mild flavored ingredient. After seasoning this with salt and pepper, and after allowing the liquid from the mushrooms to evaporate, I added 3 250ml tetra packs of all-purpose cream, 100 grams of grated white cheddar cheese, and 50 grams of grated parmesan.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, and mildly flavored herbs such as dried parsley. It’s not advisable to use strong herbs like basil, oregano, or even Italian seasoning because again, it takes away the spotlight from our main flavors.
How do you prepare a protein that would go with the pasta?
A rule of thumb for me is, if you are serving a rich dish, the accompaniments should be leaner fare which means it should be lower in fat content or prepared in a non-greasy way. So in this case I went for skinless chicken breast filets that we rubbed in a paprika-based seasoning.
There are three options that I could’ve gone for which would greatly differ in terms of added fat during preparation:
- Leanest. Simply chop the filets and saute until golden brown before adding the mushrooms. Or roast, bake, broil, or grill them separately and serve with the pasta.
- Moderately greasy. Pan sear the filets in a small amount of olive oil.
- Greasy. Dredge the chicken in breading and deep fry until golden brown.
However, you’d see that we went for the greasy option here because it would photograph best for blogging purposes. Remember as well that one meal would not make or break your diet; when the food served is rich and high in calories, proper portioning can allow you to indulge conscientiously.
Final look and garnish
The pasta was plated to occupy ⅔ of the area of a shallow dish and dried parsley was sprinkled on top. And the chicken cutlets were sliced uniformly and allowed to lean on the side of the plate.
If you found this useful, tag me at @juliannemalongrnd when you cook your Cheesy Pasta Dish.
If you’d like to try California cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and butter. You may find them in supermarkets, membership shopping outlets, specialty stores, and delis nationwide.
This is a #SponsoredPost in partnership with Real California Milk Philippines.