Macaroni Milanaise

This is a dish that originated in ‘‘The Escoffier Cookbook’’ as a ‘‘garnish’’ for lamb chops: macaroni and cheese, essentially, for fancy people. It serves well as a main dish, though, particularly if you double the recipe. Escoffier added both truffles and tongue to the mix, and you can, too, though it is hardly necessary. Serve with a salad if not lamb chops, and give thanks for the old ways.


  • ½ pound dried macaroni pasta, or cavatelli, gemelli, even ziti
  • 4thin slices ham, about 2 ounces, cut into thin ribbons
  • 3 or 4small mushrooms, ideally wild, sliced thin
  • 2tablespoons tomato purée
  • 2tablespoons Madeira
  • 3tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3tablespoons grated Gruyère cheese
  • 2tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  • Nutritional Information
      • Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)

        369 calories; 12 grams fat; 7 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 3 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 grams polyunsaturated fat; 45 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams dietary fiber; 2 grams sugars; 15 grams protein; 37 milligrams cholesterol; 371 milligrams sodium

    Note: Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available data.

4 servings.


  1. Set a large pot of heavily salted water over high heat, and allow it to come to a boil.
  2. Add the pasta to the water, and cook it until it is just shy of tender, according to the instructions on the box.
  3. Meanwhile, put the ham, mushrooms and tomato purée in a small sauté pan, and pour the Madeira over the top. Cook over medium heat until the liquid has reduced to a glaze, the ham is heated through and the mushrooms are beginning to brown. Turn the heat off under the pan, and set aside.
  4. Reserve a cup of the pasta water, and drain the pasta well. Return the pasta to the pot, then add the cheeses and butter, and stir to combine. Add the seasonings, and stir some more, adding, if necessary, a little of the reserved pasta water to loosen the pasta and help melt the cheeses. Add the mushroom mixture, and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning. Serve with salad, or as a ‘‘garnish’’ for roasted or sautéed lamb.

About 30 minutes

You Might Also Like