If you’re wondering what to do with a block of truffle cheese, this pasta recipe might just be the answer. It’s a restaurant quality meal made at home on a budget (if you have a source of inexpensive truffle cheese). This is totally adaptable to different types of cheese, different methods of adding truffle flavor, and different mix-ins… so it can be the perfect date night or dinner party recipe for you!
Well, what have we stumbled upon here?
Only the perfect answer to 2023’s collective “champagne tastes on a beer budget” situation. Because this is a bowl of reeeeally creamy, luxurious pasta which we can make quickly and cheaply at home when we need a treat. And what a gift that is!
The “cheap” aspect will depend on where you live. In the UK I am seeing truffle cheddar everywhere in the festive supermarket ranges in the region of £2 a block. Even Aldi carries the stuff! It may not be the cheapest meal ever, but at those prices it’s a fairly inexpensive way to enjoy a fancy-feeling meal.
Now, before anyone feels the need to break this to me, I do know that the truffle cheeses available at this price point don’t contain an abundance of premium fresh truffles and various shortcuts will have been taken but hey, it’s tasty stuff regardless! If you have super fancy truffle cheese, you probably want to just eat it off a cracker and not cook with it. But the supermarket stuff is great for cooking with.
This recipe has a lot of flexibility, so let’s take a look at what we need and what we can swap around:
- Tagliatelle is my pasta of choice, but feel free to use linguine or even a short pasta such as penne.
- Shallots and garlic provide some background flavor for our sauce, you can use red onion instead of shallot no problem.
- The mushrooms are just plain chestnut mushrooms, you could use any kind. It’s not a lot of mushrooms, just enough slivers to add some texture and enhance the truffle flavor. Don’t worry about it if you want to leave them out. On the other hand, if you’re a mushroom enthusiast, feel free to try this with a pack of mixed wild mushrooms, and use more than the recipe calls for.
- Truffle cheese is the headliner here! I used Ilchester truffle cheddar which I found in Tesco. It is a soft, mild cheddar with flecks of truffle.
- Parmesan style cheese was there too, to give the sauce some strength because the cheddar was on the milder side. If your truffle cheese is fairly strong, you don’t really need this. But I expect the cheap supermarket truffle cheeses tend to have a mild cheddar as a base, and so it’s worth adding the parm if you can. (I don’t use real parmesan by the way, I use Italian hard cheese made from vegetarian rennet.) It’s fine to leave it out anyway, you just get a milder cream sauce.
- Peas are a lovely addition here, the sweetness breaks up the umami overload and they’re just a nice cheap staple that most of us have in our freezers all the time so why not?
- Cream differs from region to region… UK readers: Single cream is your best bet. If you only have double cream, go ahead and use that but you may need to thin out the sauce with pasta cooking water. US / Canadian readers: You can use heavy cream, but you may need to thin out the sauce with pasta cooking water OR try an equal mix of heavy cream + half and half. 100% half and half could very well work for a lighter option, with a more runny slurpy sauce, though I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure how it would turn out.
- Fresh parsley (not pictured) is an optional but nice touch if you have it available.
Variations to this recipe:
- I did a test of this recipe without the peas, and instead added some honey roasted cherry tomatoes on top. I loved this variation so definitely feel free to give it a try if a tomato topped dish is speaking to you.
- A garlicky, herby breadcrumb topping would be super tasty and give some texture.
What to do with truffle cheese – more ideas
- Replace some of the gruyere in a quiche with truffle cheese – it would pair nicely with this asparagus quiche.
- With mashed potatoes or even cauliflower mash, to give a luxurious finish.
- Consider using it as a topping for black bean tacos in place of the smoked cheese.
- In place of some of the parmesan in this one pot tortellini recipe.
Truffle Cheese Pasta
- 250 g (9 oz) tagliatelle
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 100 g (3.5 oz) mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 15 g (1.07 tbsp) salted butter
- 150 g (1.5 cups) truffle cheese, grated
- 30 g (⅓ cup) parmesan or Italian hard cheese, grated
- 240 ml (1 cup) single cream
- salt and pepper, to taste
- fresh parsley, optional
- olive oil, for cooking
- Boil the pasta according to package instructions. Add the peas for the last minute of the cooking time, then drain, reserving some of the cooking water.
- While the pasta is cooking, we can make the sauce. Heat a little olive oil in a deep pan, and saute the shallots for a minute or two until soft.
- Add the mushrooms, garlic and butter to the pan. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are deeply browned and all of the liquid in the pan is evaporated.
- Add the cream and mix through, then turn the heat off.
- Add both of the cheeses and mix through until they're melted in and a thick sauce has formed. Cover, and set aside while you wait for the pasta to finish cooking (and don't forget to add the peas for the last minute!)
- Add the pasta and peas to the pan with the sauce alongside the parsley, if using. Toss through until mixed, adding some of the reserved pasta cooking water if the mixture feels too thick for your liking.
- Serve immediately.