WW1 Rationing: Nouilles au Gratin (Pasta with Cheese Sauce)

Posted in - Mrs C.S. Peel's Recipes & Rationing & Recipes on February 23rd 2014 1 Comments

Familiar in the combination of pasta and cheese, but not in its name; nouilles is french for noodle.  So perhaps Granny Dot’s pasta recipe came from France?  I need to investigate further.


In the words of Granny Dot:
‘Ingredients. – 3 oz. nouilles, salt, boiling water, 1 oz. of margarine, half a pint of hot milk, one tablespoonful of grated cheese, breadcrumbs. Method. – Boil 3 oz. of nouilles in salted water for fifteen minutes and drain. Melt one ounce of margarine and stir in as much flour as it will moisten.  When it has cooked gently for five minutes add a half-pint of hot milk, salt, pepper, and a grain or two of cayenne.  Stir and boil gently till smooth, then withdraw from the fire and add a tablespoonful of grated cheese.  Place the nouilles in a buttered pie-dish in layers with the sauce spread between.  Cover the final layer of nouilles lightly with mixed bread-crumbs and cheese, add several small pieces of butter, and bake in a fairly hot oven till nicely browned.’
(The Eat-Less-Meat Book, 1917, Mrs C.S. Peel)

3 oz. pasta
2 oz/56g butter
1 tbsp flour
Half a pint/300mls milk
Grated cheese

1.  Make the sauce by melting the butter, stirring in the flour and for a minutes or two, removing from the heat, and gradually adding the milk.  Return to the heat when half the milk has been added.
2.  Add the remaining milk and when a sauce is forming, add the cheese, enough to taste.
3.  Boil the pasta until al dente and put it in a buttered dish.
4.  Add the sauce and top with breadcrumbs.
5.  Bake until lightly browned for a few minutes.
6.  Serve.  It is best eaten straight away and if you reheat you may like to moisten it with more sauce.


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