The original macaroni and cheese arguably came from the Swiss Alps in the 1800s. It makes sense that the country that has a cheese named after it might have thought to combine butter, melted cheese, and macaroni. It also makes sense the European “owners” of pasta, Italy, lay claim to the dish with recipes for a similar dish of macaroni in butter and cheese dating back to the 15th century. Until researching alplermagronen for this recipe, I was pretty sure that Kraft invented it when I was 8 years old. Anyway you look at, though, macaroni with melted cheese is the perfect comfort food.
Alplermagronen – Swiss Macaroni and Cheese
- Large pot
- Large bowl
- Oven-proof casserole dish
- 1½ cups Grated Alpenzer cheese (or shredded Emmenthaler or Gruyere)
- 1 lb Macaroni (Penne, ziti, large elbow, or another thin tubed pasta)
- 2 large Potatoes, peeled and diced similar to macaroni size
- ⅓ cup Heavy cream
- ⅓ cup Whole milk
- 2 large White onions, peeled and sliced
- 1 clove Garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp Butter
- Salt, nutmeg, and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 jar Apple sauce warmed for serving
- Bring pot of water to a boil. Place a colander in the sink. Add potato cubes to the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, add the macaroni to the boiling water. Following package instructions, cook until pasta is just done but not soft and mushy. Immediately pour into the colander and rinse with cold water to stop it from cooking further. While macaroni is cooking, heat the butter in a wide skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and slowly cook until the onions become golden brown and caramelized. Stir from time to time. Once they look done, stir in minced garlic and cook 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. In a large bowl, combine cream, milk, and cheese. Mix in the macaroni-potatoes and mix well. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Cook and Serve
- Pour bowl of macaroni and cheese into the lightly greased ovenproof casserole dish. Scatter remaining cheese over the top and put in oven until top becomes a deep golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and spread onions over the top.Warm a bowl of applesauce in the microwave and serve together with the casserole.
- If you want to add peas, add 1 cup of frozen baby peas to the bowl with noodle mixture before it’s poured into the casserole.
- Noodle mixture may be done in advance, right before adding cheese and onions stage and refrigerated until ready to cook.