Dressed Macaroni

Original Receipt: 

Put a piece of butter, half a pound of macaroni, an onion stick with two cloves, and a little salt into hot water, boil them for three quarters of an hour, and then, if the macaroni is flexible, take it out and drain it well. Put it into another saucepan with two ounces of butter, three of grated Parmesan cheese, a little pepper and nutmeg; Toss up the whole together, adding two or three spoonfuls of cream; When done, put it on a dish, and serve it very hot.

From The Housekeeper’s Book, 1838


  • 8 ounces dry pasta (see how to make pasta from scratch here!)
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup of freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons cream
  • 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs (optional)

Modern Instructions:

  1. Boil noodles with one tablespoon of butter and with the onion studded with two cloves for about 10 minutes (onion and cloves are to be discarded in this recipe, but you can also choose to slice the onion and layer it among the pasta before baking).
  2. Drain and toss the noodles with two more tablespoons of butter, cheese, nutmeg and cream.
  3. Optional: place dressed noodles in a baking dish and cover with bread crumbs and another tablespoon of butter and bake at 350⁰F for 20 minutes or broil in the oven until breadcrumbs are brown. This comes from several other historic receipts for dressing macaroni.