macaroni and cheese - the swiss way

i am a person of habits. i have been buying the same chocolate yoghurt from migros for years, i always order number 39 at my thaiplace lilys and whenever i travel to amsterdam (which really is a habit, when you look at the numbers of flights i book to amsterdam...) i make sure i got a pack of macaroni and some gruyère cheese in my bag. my friend christoph from amsterdam is swiss and we both like a decent creamy macaroni and cheese. so we start to cook and decide to cook the whole packet of macaroni, since you can always warm it up the next day. thing is - for years, there wasn't a single macaroni left. we just eat it all up - just dont stop until the whole pan is empty. this is how hungry we are. and this is how good this is.
the key ingredient is a decent cheese. for me - this can only be a decent gruyère cheese. its aroma is just wonderful and great in combination with the cream. the bacon is optional. but make sure you top this with loads of golden-brown onions (or shallots, like i do)!
its quite rich, so a green salad would be perfect to serve this with. or some apples - they will help to digest the fancy cheese.

since the lovely ruth from once upon a feast (who is also the host of presto-pasta night) is moving - i'd suggest this quick but delicious pasta dish would be a perfect meal for a house-moving party. except, they won't want to leave anymore...


RECIPE

400g macaroni
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 shallots, peeled and finely sliced
200ml single cream (or half-and-half)
large pinch of bouillon powder
pepper & freshly ground nutmeg
200g gruyère cheese, grated
3 rashers of streaky bacon, cut in cubes
small bunch of chive, finely chopped

cook the macaroni in a pan of boiling, salted water (i always season the water with some bouillon powder, but do as you like). in the meantime heat a small frying pan, add olive oil and sliced shallots and bacon. fry until softened and slightly browned. take off heat but keep warm.
heat the cream in a small pan, season with bouillon powder, freshly ground pepper and fresh nutmeg.
drain the macaroni and put half of it into a large serving dish (or like i did in a pan that will keep it warm). sprinkle half of the grated cheese on top, cover with macaroni and top with the rest of the cheese and the onions and bacon. pour the warm cream over and garnish with chive. cover and let rest for about 5 minutes so the cheese can melt and it gets all creamy and wonderful.

if you have any leftovers (i doubt that...), you can fry this in a small skillet until golden brown. you wont need any butter or oil to do this, the cheese and cream will make sure it will turn golden brown.