Macaroni And Cheese

Step one: break macaroni into inch pieces.

Sometime around the 12th or 13th century, the word maccheroni caught on in southern Italian dialects to refer to dried types of pasta. (The origin of that word is sort of mysterious and sort of complicated–Clifford A. Wright does an amazing and exhaustive examination on his site.) The word pasta (meaning paste) didn’t really come into use into the mid-to-late 19th century.

But in the 18th century–before that word came into use–Yankee Doodle was calling the feather in his hat macaroni (a slur intended to suggest colonists were unsophisticated and aspired to be effeminate foreign-food-fancying fops) (but not when we call each other that) (because we took it back). As the word pasta entered use, macaroni morphed into being any pasta with a hole in the middle, and then finally the elbow macaroni that Italians would probably call gomito meaning, creatively enough, elbow.

Long, hollow macaroni would’ve been most popular between 1900 and about 1940, and that’s probably what this recipe was intended to use.

We talked about the history of macaroni and cheese in the post for Yesterdish’s chorizo and chiles macaroni and cheese.

From the box of C.N. sold in De Soto, Kansas.

Macaroni and Cheese

1-1/2 c. macaroni
1/2 c. grated cheese
1 c. thin white sauce
1/2 c. buttered crumbs

  1. Break macaroni into inch pieces.
  2. Drop into boiling salted water allowing 1 Tablespoon salt to each quart boiling water.
  3. Cook until tender.
  4. When tender pour into a colander and wash thoroughly with cold water.
  5. Butter a baking dish.
  6. Put a layer of boiled macaroni in dish.
  7. Add half of the white sauce and half of the grated cheese.
  8. Add remainder of white sauce, macaroni, and cheese.
  9. Cover with buttered crumbs.
  10. Bake in a moderate oven until crumbs are brown and the white sauce boils up around the sides.

6 servings

Catherine Nichepor

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