Makerouns Recipe

An English fourteenth century recipe of noodles and cheese.

ORIGINAL RECEIPT:

95. Makerouns. Take and make a thynne foyle of dowh, and kerue it on pieces, and cast hym on boiling water & seeþ it wele. Take chese and grate it, and butter imelte, cast bynethen and abouven as losyns; and serue forth.

TRANSLATION

Macaroni. Take a piece of thin pastry dough and cut it in pieces, place in boiling water and cook. Take grated cheese, melted butter, and arrange in layers like lasagna; serve.


MODERN RECIPE:

  • 3-4 lb. freshly home-made, undried noodles OR 1 lb. dried egg noodles*
  • 1 tbs. oil
  • large pinch salt
  • 2 cups grated cheese
  • 1 stick butter

Boil noodles with oil & salt until al dente (tender-crisp). Drain well. In a serving bowl or platter place some melted butter and cheese. Lay noodles on top and add more butter and cheese. Serve as is or continue adding layers of butter, cheese, and noodles. Use extra cheese as necessary. Serve immediately, or place in a hot oven for several minutes and then serve. Serves 8.

Makerouns appears to be the ancestor of macaroni, and this dish may best be described as “medieval mac-n-cheese.” The period receipt advises to prepare it like “losyns” (lasagna), with layers of noodles, butter, and cheese. The dish is wonderful when prepared with undried freshly made noodles, but works with a dried purchased variety as well.

*The original recipe noodles are essentially boiled pastry dough; if you have a pasta maker, feel free to use it in making your makerouns, boiling them while still fresh and undried. Egg noodles are probably the best to use when purchasing a commercial brand. Keep in mind the difference in weight between dried and undried noodles.

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