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heirloom·modern: Macaroni Maruzze With Blueberries

10 Jul

For my second installment of heirloom·modern, I found a recipe that allows me to, yet again, play with my fruit. It’s been very hard to find recipes that do not require cooking in vintage cookbooks. At first I thought I’d just be able to make a bunch of salads, but as the Times noted yesterday, the idea of the salad has changed significantly over the past five decades or so. I simply refuse to make any “salad” the requires the use of jello or pudding. Not to judge, but it’s just plain wrong.

So, when the world throws you a bunch of gelatin-enhanced salads, it’s best to ignore them completely and look for another recipe that is easily adapted to a low heat cooking solution. Luckily I found just such a meal in a wonderful old cookbook published in 1966.

Macaroni Maruzze With Blueberries

(Adapted from Feasts For All Seasons by Roy Andries de Groot)

This absolutely unique and delightful cookbook is divided into cooking for the seasons and gives wonderful detailed lists of what fish, meats, vegetables and fruits will be available at market. The entire de Groot family (including the family’s seeing eye dog (Mr. de Groot was hurt in the Blitz and later went blind)) contributed to the recipes.

A later book by Mr. de Groot, Recipes From The Auberge Of The Flowering Hearth, describes a trip he made to France where food was cooked with the seasons and is said to have influenced a generation of famous American chefs (including Chez Panisse’s Alice Waters). Apparently I’ve been living in a cave somewhere because this guy was seriously influential.

This intriguing recipe comes from The Family Meals Of Spring and yet it asks you to cook the pasta for 20 minutes in a 350° oven. Now, maybe it’s just me, but if it’s hot enough for blueberries to be showing up in the markets, it’s also too hot to have the oven on for that long (at any temperature). So I decided to take a slightly different tact on this one.

Since I had such wonderful luck with the risotto method of cooking pasta last time it seemed logical (if a bit risky) to employ it here. I had only heard of it being used with rather small pastas, but I can now say that yes, it does work with slightly larger shapes.

I made one pretty significant mis-step in this meal. Rather than using the wine to deglaze the pan, I added it after I had already put the pasta in the pot. What I realized after I had done this was that the pasta was cooking in the boiling wine, so I had to quickly add the stock, crank the heat down, cover the pot and allow the shells to cook. Unfortunately this imparted a raw wine flavor to the finished dish that wasn’t awful but was in the end a wee bit distracting.

So would I make this pasta again? Yes. It is delicious, gorgeous and very, very unique! I would love to make it for a dinner party to serve alongside a roasted duck or goose. I think in winter it would be a lovely dish if you replaced the blueberries with cranberries. This is definitely a keeper.

Oh, and for those in NYC (or any other city with insane real estate prices) I wanted to share this note I found nestled within the pages of this book:

49 St. E. Charming floor-thu overlooking Turtle Bay Gdns — Sublet early June – mid Sept. $300 mo. PL 3 – 7686


Head below the jump for my adaptation of Roy Andries de Groot’s Macaroni Maruzze With Blueberries.

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