Cornettes are small pastas that the Swiss have loved for about a century. Cornettes are probably one of, if not the, most favorite pasta in the country. They are shaped like a small curved macaroni and are used in very popular dishes.
The pasta is cooked with cheese and milk – a Swiss version of mac and cheese. Originally eaten by shepherds because it is so filling, the recipe has been passed down orally. It is now served with small pieces of bacon and applesauce.
- Add the bacon cubes to a cold skillet and turn the heat to medium. Cook until the fat is melted and the bacon is brown and crispy, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove bacon bits with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper-lined plate.
Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions, season with salt and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and golden brown: about 30 minutes. Put aside.
Place the diced potatoes in a large saucepan and cover generously with salted water. Bring to the boil, add the macaroni and continue cooking until the macaroni is barely al dente and the potatoes are tender. The exact time depends on the shape of the macaroni. It’s about 10 minutes before ziti. Drain the macaroni and potatoes.
Return the drained macaroni and potatoes to the pan, add the cream and return to medium heat. Stir until the cream starts to warm up, then add the grated cheese, a little salt and a little freshly grated nutmeg. Keep stirring until the cheese has melted into a thick and luscious sauce.
Serve the cheesy Alpine macaroni on individual plates, topped with caramelized onions, crispy bacon strips (optional), and applesauce on the side, depending on personal preference.