Dressed Maccaroni

Ingredients

  • Maccaroni, 6 oz.
  • butter, 3 oz.
  • Parmesan (or other) cheese, 6 oz.
  • cream, 4 tablespoonsful.

Method

After careful and repeated trial of different modes of dressing various kinds of maccaroni, we find that in preparing them with Parmesan cheese, unmixed with any of a more mellow nature, there is always a chance of failure, from its tendency to gather into lumps; we would therefore recommend the inexperienced reader to substitute for it in part, at least, any finely flavoured English cheese; and the better to ensure its blending smoothly with the other ingredients (when neither white, nor any other thickened sauce is used with it), to dissolve the butter, and to stir to it a small teaspoonful of flour, before any liquid is added, then carefully to mix with it the cream or gravy, as directed for Sauce Tournée, and to give this a boil before the maccaroni and cheese are added: if gently tossed as these become hot, the whole will be smooth, and the cheese will adhere properly to the paste. four ounces of pipe maccaroni is sufficient for a small dish, but from six to eight should be prepared for a family party where it is liked. The common English mode of dressing it is with grated cheese, butter, and cream, or milk. French cooks substitute generally a spoonful or two of very strong rich jellied gravy for the cream; and the Italians, amongst their many other modes of serving it, toss it in rich brown gravy, with sufficient grated cheese to flavour the whole strongly; they send it to table also simply laid into a good Espagnole or brown gravy (that drawn from the stufato,* for example), accompanied by a plate of grated cheese. Another, and an easy mode of dressing it is to boil and drain it well, and to put it into a deep dish, strewing grated cheese on every layer, and adding bits of fresh butter to it. The top, in this case, should be covered with a layer of fine bread-crumbs, mixed with grated cheese; these should be moistened plentifully with clarified butter, and colour given to them in the oven, or before the fire; the crumbs may be omitted, and a layer of cheese substituted for them An excellent preparation of maccaroni may be made with any well-flavoured, dry white cheese, which can be grated easily, at much less cost than with the Parmesan, which is expensive, and in the country not always procurable: and we think that the brown gravy and a seasoning of cayenne are great improvements to it.

Obs.— Less of butter and cheese can be used by the strict economist

* See Chapter of Foreign Cookery.