The perfect after-hike meal for many is a creamy bowl of Älplermagrone, that divine mix of pasta simmered in milk, with cheese, bacon, roasted onion, and apple sauce. Sam has perfected his version, cooking the pasta directly in the milk and tossing in all the ingredients as you go.
As much as I love to eat this, it is simply too hot at the moment to consider standing over a pot of steaming milk and cheese. So I give you the perfect way to eat pasta on a hot day—macaroni salad.
This version is not as slick as regular versions of macaroni salad, so if you'd like a slightly wetter dish, just add a little more milk and cream cheese. Add more bacon, if desired, or go all out and throw some cervelat in there too.
knob of butter
12 rashers of bacon
500 g macaroni
150 g cream cheese
150 ml milk
200 g hard cheese, cubed
3 apples, sliced
nutmeg, salt and pepper
First, caramelise your onions:
Chop your onions into small strips. Melt a knob over butter over medium heat in a medium pan. Once the butter is bubbling, add the onions and cook over medium low heat for about 30-40 minutes, stirring often, or until the onions have turned brown and caramelly.
Now make the bacon:
Either in a frying pan, on in the oven on a foil lined baking sheet, cook the bacon until crispy.
Meanwhile, the pasta:
In a large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain into a colander. Put the empty pot back on the stove and add the cream cheese. Put the pasta back on top and add the milk. Stir well, so that all of the cream cheese melts.
Once the bacon has finished cooking, pour the residual bacon fat over the pasta and stir well. Chop the bacon into small pieces.
Add the caramelised onions, bacon, chopped apple, and cheese to the pasta and stir well. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
- In Switzerland, you can use the traditional Älplermagrone noodles, but anywhere else regular macaroni or cavatappi noodles will do.
- If the salad is a little dry for your liking, just add a splash of milk.
- Alternatively, you could add chopped cervelat instead of, or in addition to, the bacon.
- Any hard cheese can be used. Possibilities include all varieties of Alp and Bergkäse, Sbrinz, Gruyère, Asiago, Cheddar.
- This salad was on the table at our first of August BBQ, and we served the onions on the side, though normally I would stir them right into the pasta.