A very popular dish in Switzerland and true to it’s name, Alpen Macaroni. As it happens, the creation of this dish is centuries old. What better way to use up your abundance of cream and cheese stock in the Alps than to use it in what is now, a world famous dish.
Summer season in the alp resulted in an abundance of cream and cheese produced from the cows grazing in the alps, making it hard to transport the milk down to the valley’s. Alp life is often tough and lonely. Faced with fast changes in weather, and an abundance of milk products, there had to be a reward out there for all this work. I believe it’s in the form of the Alpen Macaroni. A dish that satisfies hunger, nourishes and leaves you warm on the inside, you can see why it’s been around longer that we have! But the dish isn’t just about milk and cheese…there’s a few more unlikely additions that make this dish special and very Swiss.
The Swiss Mascot?
It’s the case of the two P’s. Potatoes and Pasta. Oddly enough, it works. With the addition of potatoes added and cooked in the water along with the pasta, it might be hard to fathom as a novice…but the story continues. Topping a pasta dish with fried onions is the next addition here. Providing a delicious flavor with just about every bite. This dish is finally completed with the pairing of apple sauce, served in a cup or on the plate. The idea is to eat the noodles with a bit of apple sauce in each bite.
Having lived on two continents, I have never seen such a dish, pairing pasta with potatoes. I’m a convert though, making me a huge fan, and I totally understand the pairing of these two controversial starches. You will find Alpen Macaroni on every mountain top. Served atop alp restaurants, ski lodges, or snow huts throughout Switzerland, there’s a different version at every spot.
Having experienced it first-hand while doing a summer tour over a Swiss mountain pass (over 2000m high). We over-nighted at a Swiss mountain lodge. Naturally, we arrived famished and wanted nothing more than a nourishing, warm meal. It was no coincidence that we were served a delicious meal of alpen macaroni. Served up warm in a huge pot, topped with rich fresh cream! It was a total delight and the most-needed reward after trekking 8 hours through the Swiss mountains. We were happy indeed~.
P.S. looking for a Vegan version? Don’t panic, I’ve created one…
- 1 lbs noodles penne or macaroni
- 1 cup milk
- 4 tbs butter sliced
- 4 medium potatoes peeled, sliced and cubed
- 1 to 2 cups cheese a mountain cheese is perfect for this…rich in flavor.
- 2 cups apple sauce make a quick batch of your own. season lightly with sugar and cinnamon
- 1 large onion sliced thin and figure 1 per person
- Take your thin sliced onion and sauté over high heat until nice and crispy.
- Set aside
- In a large stock pot, prepare water to boil
- In the mean time, wash, peel and cube your potatoes
- Shred your cheese and set aside
- When water begins to boil, add your pasta noodles and sliced potatoes to the water, same time and cook for 8-10 minutes.
- When noodles and potatoes are cooked, drain. Add your butter
- and cheese. Stir until noodles and potatoes are well combined with this cheesy sauce.
- Serve on a plate, top with onions and serve with apple sauce on the side.