Macaroni gratin with walnuts
Sometimes I start making a recipe and I have an idea in my head on how it is gonna taste… Sometimes that idea is correct and sometimes I just get blown away by the flavors in a taste that far exceeds my expectations. This is such a dish. It seems incredibly simple and well, it really IS incredibly simple, but maybe because of that I had not expect all the flavors to come out so wonderful. It’s basically macaroni and cheese but with a twist..
The original recipe called for all sorts of cheeses I could not find in the supermarket and I didn’t want to venture out much further then the supermarket so I just bought a couple of cheese that I thought would work well and went with that. I had given myself a day of today. Being my own boss is wonderful most of the time, but it also means that you sort of forget to really take some time off. I mean; I don’t always work, but there is hardly a day that I don’t do at least something for work. As soon as I position myself behind the computer I get into work mode. And after our holiday it’s been hectic with customers wanting me to do some photography work that they saved until I was back…
So I figured I deserved a day of cooking and blogging… I made the madeleines in the previous post in the morning and wanted to do something in the little cocottes I also got for christmas. I just think they are so very cute don’t you think so too? Tom got me four different colors so I could pick which color to use when taking photographs… Anyway back to the dish… I am putting the recipe here below but I didn’t really measure much. Just threw in until I thought I had the right flavor, so just use your instinct. I did put down the approximate qty’s so you have a starting point if you want to make it too.
Macaroni gratin with walnuts
125 gr macaroni
20 gr gorgonzola
20 gr Grana Padano, grated
25 gr Old Amsterdam, grated. If you do not have Old Amsterdam in your part of the world, it is basically a very ripe old cheese. Gouda type of cheese with a sharp flavor. The flavor is much stronger then regular Gouda cheese and has a different taste, hard to describe really...
1 big tbsp of mascarpone
50 ml cream
1 tbsp of butter
20 gr of walnuts
Preheat the oven at 200C.
Cook the macaroni in salted water for about half the time you would normally use. Use your common sense here. The recipe stated to boil the pasta for 1 minute only, but my pasta needed about 9 to become all dente, so for this recipe I cooked the pasta for 5 minutes and that worked perfectly. As soon as you're done cooking cool under cold water tap.
In a pan heat the butter on low heat and once melted add the mascarpone, cream, gorgonzola, grana padano and half of the Old Amsterdam. Stir until it is all melted nicely together and forms a thick creamy texture. Add salt and pepper to your taste. Chop the walnuts finely and add to the cream.
Add the pasta and mix well. Put the mixture into a small ovendish or into one of those cute cocottes. Add the remaining cheese on top and put in the oven.
After about 15 minutes check if the top is nice and brown. If not you can put the grill on for a short while or just wait until it is nice and golden.
Obviously you can add whatever cheeses you like to this mix but I totally loved this little dish. In fact... I made the mistake of making this around 4 pm. And since it is quite filling I am not sure I am going to be needing any dinner any time soon!
Recipe by Simone van den Berg