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!”
- 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.)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Grease a baking dish with 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
- In a food processor, blend breadcrumbs until coarsely chopped. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter and toss with breadcrumbs. Season with salt and set aside.
- In a large stockpot, bring water to a rolling boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain but do not rinse.
- 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.
- 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.
- While bacon is in the oven, caramelize onions in butter over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until nice and golden brown.
- 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.
- Top with buttered breadcrumbs and caramelized onions.
- 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.)
- While baking pasta, pan-fry sausage until cooked through. Slice into rounds and fan 3 ounces over the top of each serving of pasta.