Älplermagronen (Swiss Alpine Pasta)

By Christopher Mushall, chef de cuisine at Chateau Chantal
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Photo courtesy of Chateau Chantal

The recipe for this rich, savory Swiss Alpine Pasta comes from Christopher Mushall, chef de cuisine at Chateau Chantal on Old Mission Peninsula. Pair it with an unoaked Chardonnay for a cozy meal this winter.

“Our unoaked Chardonnay is a previous mac and cheese pairing winner when [the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula] had the competitions,” says Marie-Chantal Dalese, president and CEO of Chateau Chantal, via email. “A fresh acidity on this fruity wine makes a great refresher to the uber-rich Alpine Pasta. Yum!”

Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter, unsalted, divided in half
  • 1 cup sourdough breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 16 ounces elbow macaroni, penne, or cavatappi (your favorite tube pasta)
  • 2 large Yukon potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 8 slices bacon, thick-cut
  • 2 large white onions, julienned
  • Black pepper, freshly cracked, to taste
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 12 ounces Swiss raclette, finely grated
  • 24 ounces cervelat (Note: This sausage is rather difficult to come by in the States. Good kielbasa or bratwurst will also work.)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Grease a baking dish with 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
  3. In a food processor, blend breadcrumbs until coarsely chopped. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter and toss with breadcrumbs. Season with salt and set aside.
  4. In a large stockpot, bring water to a rolling boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain but do not rinse.
  5. In a separate pot, boil water and potatoes until just tender. Don’t overcook them. Cook until just fork tender. Drain the water and add the pasta.
  6. Cut bacon into ¼-inch slices. Bake in the oven at 350 F until cooked and crisp. This minimizes shrinking and splatter messes. Drain the bacon.
  7. While bacon is in the oven, caramelize onions in butter over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until nice and golden brown.
  8. In a Dutch oven, add drained bacon, pepper, and heavy cream. Bring to a simmer. Pour cream and bacon over pasta and potatoes in a pot and fold with a rubber spatula. Alternate layers with cheese in the baking dish, finishing the top layer with cheese.
  9. Top with buttered breadcrumbs and caramelized onions.
  10. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. (All ovens are different, so check at 10 minutes and adjust time as needed. Bubbly golden gratin of cheese is the goal.)
  11. While baking pasta, pan-fry sausage until cooked through. Slice into rounds and fan 3 ounces over the top of each serving of pasta.

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