Macaroni, as an article of food, is rather more valuable than bread, as it contains a larger proportion of gluten. It is the bread of the Italian laborer. In this country, it is a sort of a luxury among the upper classes; but there is no good reason, considering its price, why it should not enter more extensively into the food of our working classes.

In selecting, choose that of a brownish color, rather than the pure white.

Spighetti is the most delicate form of macaroni that comes to this country.

Macaroni A l' Italienne

1/4 pound of macaroni 1/4 pound of grated cheese

1/2 pint of milk Butter the size of a walnut

Salt and white pepper to taste

Break the macaroni in convenient lengths. Put it in a two-quart kettle and nearly fill the kettle with boiling water; add a teaspoonful of salt and boil rapidly twenty-five minutes; then drain; throw into cold water to blanch for ten minutes. Put the milk into a farina boiler; add to it the butter, then the macaroni and cheese; stir until thoroughly heated, add the salt and pepper, and serve. (358)

Baked Macaroni

1/4 pound of macaroni 1/4 pound of grated cheese

1/2 cup of cream 1 tablespoonful of butter

Salt and pepper

Break the macaroni in convenient lengths, put it in a two-quart kettle and nearly fill the kettle with boiling water; add a teaspoonful of salt, and boil rapidly twenty-five minutes (the rapid boiling prevents the macaroni from sticking together); drain in a colander; then throw into cold water to blanch for ten minutes; then drain again in the colander. Put a layer of the macaroni in the bottom of a baking-dish; then a layer of cheese, then a sprinkling of salt and pepper, then another layer of macaroni, and so con-tinue until all is used, having the last layer macaroni. Cut the butter in small bits; distribute them evenly over the top; add the cream and bake until a golden brown (about twenty minutes) in a moderately quick oven. Serve in the dish in which it was baked.

Cream Macaroni (Mrs. S. W. R. Williams, Of Philadelphia)

For a dish holding three pints, one-half pound of spighetti will be required. Have ready a kettle full of boiling salted water. Take the spighetti all up together, in the long sticks, without breaking. Hold the ends in the boiling water; in an instant it will go down into the water. Whirl it round and round with a fork to thoroughly separate it, then allow it to boil hard for twenty minutes. When done, put it in a colander, and pour cold water through it (this is called blanching). After it is drained, put it into the dish in which it is to be baked.

For The Cream Gravy

Put one and one-half pints of milk on to boil in a double boiler. While it is boiling, stir smoothly together three tablespoonfuls of flour and three scant tablespoonfuls of butter. When smooth, stir carefully into the boiling milk, and continue stirring for a few moments until it thickens. Then stir into it three tablespoonfuls of grated cheese. Parmesan is best, but any strong cheese will answer. Pour it over the macaroni in the dish, sprinkle a little more cheese over the top, and put in the oven to brown. The macaroni may be boiled and arranged in the dish; the cream gravy made, all but adding the cheese, and put in a covered saucepan in the bain-marie to keep hot; do not put them together until just as you are ready to put them into the oven, as the cream will curdle if allowed to stand on the macaroni. If yon do not chance to have a silver baking-dish, fold a napkin cornerwise and over and over until it is the proper width for your dish, then fasten it around the dish; stand the dish in a pretty plate before sending it to the table.