One of my familys favorite and heartier dishes from Switzerland is Älpermagronen, which are kind of the “Swiss Mac and cheese”.
While the “Urner Älpermagronen”, coming from the Canton of Uri are made without potatoes, the LÄndermagronen have additionally potatoes.
Since my Grandma was from the Canton of Uri, nothing could make her more upset if somebody called Älpermagronen with potatoes “Urner Älpermagronen”. Potatoes where be carried to the high Alps by farmers bringing their cows up for the summer.
Älpermagronen comes comes from the times back when Alp farmers who had an unlimited access of butter, cream, milk and cheese.
The Gotthard Pass or St. Gotthard Pass is located in the Canton of Uri. During late 1800s there was a large influx of Italian construction workers hired to build the Gotthard tunnel (a major route from Switzerland to Italy), causing that Pasta was added to this potato cheese dish.
If making the variation with bacon, place bacon in a hot skillet. Reduce the heat to medium high. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the fat has rendered out and the bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Melt the butter in the same skillet. Use less if there is residual bacon fat.
Toss sliced onions in the pan.
Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are browned and crisp.
Turn off the heat and set aside.
Stir the bacon into the onion topping or reserve to stir into the main dish.
While the onions are caramelizing, bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Add a large teaspoon of salt.
Add the pasta to the boiling water.
Cook until the pasta is al dente.
Immediately return the pasta to the pot.
Turn heat to low.
Add cream or half and half combination to the pot.
When the cream has heated, add half of the grated cheese.
Add salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Stir constantly until a thick, cheesy sauce has formed.
Put the pasta in a heat resistant pot which can be used in the oven – Purr the cheese sauce, bacon on the pasta and mix. – Top the pasta with the other half of the cheeze and with the caramelized onions – Put the pot in the oven and heat in the oven until the cheese is melted
Serve immediately topped with the caramelized onions (and bacon).
Take the Älpermagronen out of the oven and accompany with applesauce.
If making homemade applesauce: Place peeled slices of apples in a pan. Add water and sugar (if using). Bring to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer on a medium-high heat until the apples are soft.
I am an amateur chef and expat. Thank to my work i had the opportunity to travel a lot an work in different countries. Born in Switzerland, son of a German and living in Costa Rica. My biggest cooking Idol is my Grandma and my mom who though me to cook when i was a Teenager.Read More