Truffle "Mac" n' Cheese Tart
With Truffle Purple Sweet Potato Crust & Sliced Tomatoes
Well I be damned! Now this is a tart! I have to say I am proud of this creation. I was inspired by the Rosemary & Sage Tomato Tart and White Bean & Spinach "Mac" n' Cheese I made previously and wed the two recipes. It marries the realms of healthy and decadent into one beautifully delicious dish.
The "mac" n' cheese is made with mainly healthy ingredients, including spaghetti squash, spinach, cannellini beans, and oat milk. However, one simply cannot make such a dish without...you guessed it...CHEESE! I incorporated a flavorful mix of muenster, sharp cheddar, gruyere, and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
And who could not pay mention to the crust?! I absolutely love the bright pop of color the purple sweet potatoes lend to this dish. Their earthy sweetness compliments the salty richness of the cheeses, creating a new perspective for those salty and sweet lovers (including myself!).
So if you are looking for a showstopper for your next brunch event or wishing to jazz up your meal prep, this Truffle "Mac" n' Cheese Tart will be your savior!
"MAC" N' CHEESE: 1 medium spaghetti squash, halved & seeded
8oz bag baby spinach, wilted & drained
2½ tbsps extra virgin olive oil
½ tbsp white truffle olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
15oz can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
1 cup muenster, shredded
1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
1 cup gruyere cheese, shredded & divided
¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
3 tbsp whole wheat flour
2½ cups plant-based milk, room temperature
1 tsp truffle Italian seasoning
1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely diced
1 tsp fresh sage, finely diced
1 tsp black pepper
¼ tsp red pepper flakes, optional
3 roma tomatoes, sliced ¼-inch thick
3 kumato tomatoes, sliced ¼-inch thick
Truffle salt & black pepper to taste
CRUST: 2 large purple sweet potatoes, peeled & grated
½ tbsp truffle Italian seasoning
½ tbsp fresh rosemary, finely diced
½ tbsp fresh sage, finely diced
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp truffle salt
¼ tsp red pepper flakes, optional
1 large egg
Set oven rack in the middle level. Preheat oven to 450°F.
In small batches, place the grated sweet potato in the middle of a large piece of cheesecloth. Gather the four corners of the cheesecloth and squeeze as much of the moisture out of the sweet potatoes as possible.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, truffle seasoning, truffle salt, rosemary, sage, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Add the sweet potatoes and mix until well combined.
Press the sweet potato mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan forming about a ¼-inch layer.
Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the tart pan. Set aside.
"MAC" N' CHEESE:
Cut the stem off of the squash to create a flat surface. Stand the squash upright on the flat end and cut in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, remove the seeds from each half and discard. Add 1 tsp white truffle olive oil to each half and spread with your fingers to coat the flesh. Lightly season the halves with truffle salt and black pepper. Set aside and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour. Drain any moisture that has pooled in the halves after marinating.
Heat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a fork, pierce the skin of the squash 3-4 times and place cut side down on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until al dente and the flesh flakes with a fork (cook time will vary depending on the size of the squash). Allow to cool. Once cool enough to touch, use a fork to scrape the strands into a bowl. Set aside.
Heat oven to 350°F.
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oils on medium heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the truffle Italian seasoning, rosemary, sage, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute.
Gradually stir in flour to combine and cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly.
Gradually add the milk, stirring to combine. Cook on low to thicken, about 10 minutes.
Add the cannellini beans to a food processor and pulse until mashed, but not smooth. Add mashed beans to the pot and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes.
Mix in the spinach and stir to combine.
Mix in muenster, sharp cheddar, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and ½ cup gruyere and stir until completely melted. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Add the squash and mix until the squash is covered and well incorporated.
Place the tart crust on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spoon the “mac” n’ cheese into the crust and spread evenly with a small spatula.
Sprinkle the remaining gruyere on top. Place the sliced tomatoes on top in a pattern of your choosing. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and just starting to brown around the edges. Remove from heat, transfer tart to a wire cooling rack while still in tart pan and allow to set for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!