Macaroni is a product of wheat. It is called by different names according to its shape. If in the shape of large, hollow cylinders, it is macaroni; if smaller in diameter, it is spaghetti; if fine, vermicelli; if the paste is cut into fancy patterns,, it is termed pasta d'Italia. Like all cereal foods, macaroni should be kept in a perfectly dry storeroom.

How To Select Macaroni

Good macaroni will keep in good condition for years. It is rough, elastic, and hard; while the inferior article is smooth, soft, breaks easily, and becomes moldy with keeping. Inferior macaroni, when put into hot water, assumes a white, pasty appearance, and splits in cooking; good macaroni, when put into hot water, absorbs a portion of the water and swells to nearly double its size, but retains its shape perfectly.

How To Prepare And Cook Macaroni

Do not wash macaroni. If dusty, wipe with a clean, dry cloth. Break into pieces of convenient size. Always put to cook in plenty of boiling water (as it absorbs a large quantity), and cook until tender. The length of time required will vary from twenty minutes, if fresh, to one hour if stale. When tender, turn into a colander and drain, and pour cold water through it to prevent the tubes from sticking together. It may also be cooked in milk, soup stock, tomato juice, or any [32] preferred liquid. Macaroni serves as an important adjunct in the making of various soups, and also forms the basis of other palatable dishes.

Boiled Macaroni

Break sticks of macaroni into pieces about an inch in length, sufficient to fill a large cup; put it into boiling water and cook until tender. When done, drain thoroughly, then add a pint of milk (part cream is preferable), a little salt, and one well-beaten egg; stir over the fire until it thickens, and serve hot.

Macaroni With Cream Sauce

Cook the macaroni as directed above, and pour over it, before serving, a cream sauce prepared by heating a scant pint of rich milk to boiling, in a double boiler. When boiling, add a heaping tablespoonful of flour rubbed smooth in a little milk and one-fourth teaspoonful of salt. If desired, the sauce may be flavored by steeping in the milk for ten or fifteen minutes before thickening, a slice of onion or a few bits of celery, and then removing with a fork.

Macaroni With Tomato Sauce

Break a dozen sticks of macaroni into two-inch lengths, and drop into boiling water. Let it boil until perfectly tender. In the meantime, prepare the sauce by rubbing a pint of stewed or canned tomatoes through a colander to remove all seeds and fragments. Heat to boiling, thicken with a little flour, a tablespoonful to the pint being the requisite proportion. Add salt and, if desired, a half cup of very thin sweet cream. Dish the macaroni in individual dishes, and serve with a small quantity of the sauce poured over each dish.

Macaroni Baked With Granola

Break into pieces about an inch in length sufficient macaroni to fill a large cup, and cook until tender. When done, drain, and put a layer of the macaroni in the bottom of an earthen pudding-dish, and sprinkle over it a scant teaspoonful of granola. Add a second and third layer, and sprinkle each with granola; then turn over the whole a custard sauce prepared by mixing together a pint of milk, the well-beaten yolks of two eggs or one whole egg, and one fourth of a teaspoonful of salt. Care should be taken to arrange the macaroni in layers loosely, so that the sauce will readily permeate the 3 whole. Bake for a few minutes only, until the custard has well set, and serve.