There is prepared (originally in Italy) a kind of paste from the glutinous granular flour of hard varieties of wheat, this being pressed into the shape of long tubes, or pipes, through the perforated bottom of a vessel into mandrels, and afterwards dried in the sun, or by a low degree of heat. The best Macaroni is manufactured from Semolina in such a manner, its name being derived from the Latin verb "maccare," to beat, or batter. Both Macaroni, and Vermicelli (a similar product), absorb about three times their weight of water in the process of cooking, so that the food thereby provided, though sufficiently nutritious, is about eight times poorer in nitrogen than a similar weight of lean beef. But these substances, in common with other Italian pastes,are made from flour rich in gluten, and they are absorbed into the system almost in their entirety: so that their use as nourishment is indicated in bodily conditions where it is desirable to leave behind as little residue within the intestines as possible. One ounce of Macaroni contains about fifty-five grains of proteid, nearly 77 per cent of starch, and only a decimal fraction of fat; the deficiencies are generally made up by adding cheese, and eggs, with sugar, or saffron, or meat, together perhaps with tomatoes.

Semolina as furnished for food is combined with yolk of egg, which is not present in Macaroni. The best Semolina is that from Genoa; either white, as made from rice flour; or yellow, as prepared from wheat flour; or, if deep yellow, coloured with saffron, coriander, and yolk of egg. To boil Macaroni properly, a good fire must be ready beforehand. Cooks who will take the Macaroni from the fire to put on more coals, and who thus stop its boiling, will spoil any Macaroni, however good its quality. Macaroni requires plenty of water to cook well; one gallon to a pound is not too much. The water must be salted first, according to taste, and when this is in full boil the Macaroni must be put in, and frequently stirred so as to prevent it from getting into a mass. When it is sufficiently cooked, a glass of cold water should be thrown into the saucepan immediately, so as to stop the boil; and then all the water is to be strained off through a colander as quickly as possible. The Macaroni should be served hot, and immediately after it has been cooked, or dressed, so as to eat it in perfection. It should never be cut with an ordinary knife, but either with a fish knife, or eaten by means of a plated fork, because the contact of steel imparts a bad taste, particularly if with a seasoning of tomatoes.

For persons unaccustomed to eat their long Macaroni after the clever fashion of the Neapolitans,, by twisting it round and round the fork, the advice not to cut it with a steel knife is especially needful.

Dressed Macaroni

Dressed Macaroni is a mixture of flour, cheese, and butter; and it therefore bears (as some say) the Italian name Macrhetone, a fool, or blockhead. This is after the same fashion of naming a clown, when taken as typical of his country, by a popular dish therein, such as English Jack Pudding, German Hanswurst, or Jack Sausage, or French Jean Farine, Jack Flour. The Macaroni of smaller size is called Vermicelli (little worms). An admixture of such a cereal food as Macaroni with cheese makes the latter more easy to be digested. • Both Macaroni, and Vermicelli, are prepared in the greatest perfection at Naples, where they form a principal item in the food of the population. Spaghetti is an Italian Macaroni, made into cords smaller than that of Naples, and larger than Vermicelli.

To make a Macaroni and marmalade pudding, take a quarter of a pound of Macaroni, three eggs, three ounces of sugar, a very little spice of cinnamon, or nutmeg, with some orange or apricot marmalade. Boil the Macaroni till tender, drain away the water, pour over it a little milk, and allow it to cool. When cold, mix into it the eggs, sugar, and a tiny dust of the spice. Put a layer of the mixture in a pie dish, then a layer of the marmalade, and then the remainder of the Macaroni: and bake in the oven for fifteen or twenty minutes. The Macaroni should be gently boiled for one hour. Macaroni, and other sorts of Italian paste, contain only about 9 per cent of nitrogenous substances; if a healthy, well-fed man were to live exclusively on Macaroni, he would lose weight, because having to subsidize proteids from his own resources; but an addition to the Macaroni of eggs, or meat, would prevent this deficiency.