1 pound pasta—elbow, cavatappi or penne
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cups whole milk
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus additional to taste
1 bay leaf
1 white onion, chopped
Salt to taste
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons truffle oil
½ cup bread crumbs
5 ounces sharp provolone, grated
4 ounces Asiago, grated
4 ounces Gruyère (sharp Swiss cheese), grated
4 ounces mozzarella, shredded
4 ounces Parmesan, grated
Suggested Wine Pairing: Elements by Artesa Cabernet Sauvignon
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cook the pasta al dente, drain well, set aside, and mix with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil so that it does not stick.
To prepare the cheese-and-besciamella sauce (yields about 2 cups):
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, pepper, bay leaf, onions, salt and nutmeg until the milk is steaming. Remove the bay leaf.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Sprinkle in the flour, and stir with a wooden spoon until well blended. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes until it is a golden brown. This thin paste is called a roux. Slowly pour the steaming milk into the roux, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Continue stirring over medium heat for 3 to 6 minutes. When the mixture thickens, take it off the heat.
Add all the cheeses and the truffle oil to the sauce, and mix well until the cheeses are melted into the sauce.
Mix the pasta with three-quarters of the cheese-and-besciamella sauce. Pour the pasta into a greased baking dish in 2 layers, topping each layer with a portion of the remaining sauce.
Sprinkle the top with bread crumbs and cook in the oven for about 15 minutes.