Tag: paul bocuse

The Best Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

The Best Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

This is macaroni and cheese for adults, but children also love it.


Ingredients for macaroni and cheese
One of the benefits of making this dish from scratch is that there’s no processed ingredients to be worried about. And yet, it’s still simple to make.


It’s the French version, called Macaroni au Gratin, from one of my favorite cookbooks, “French Home Cooking,” by Paul Bocuse. But don’t be scared. It’s not one of those complicated, 25-step recipes, some people associate with French cooking. This cookbook is filled with simple recipes that home cooks use: perfect recipes for Rootsliving.

I bought the book in Paris more than 30 years ago in a small bookshop across from the Luxembourg Gardens.


A casserole of mac and cheese.
The top will turn a beautiful brown when it’s done cooking.


The most time-consuming part of the recipe is boiling water for the pasta. The recipe calls for using “long macaroni.” I used “bucatini,” which also goes by the name, “perciatelli.” It’s long and thin but tubular, like a thin straw. You could also use penne. And I imagine even elbows, the traditional Mac & Cheese pasta of the U.S., would work well.


A bowl of macaroni and cheese.
The pasta on top becomes crunchy, while the pasta below remains hot and gooey, after being in the oven for an hour.


This is more refined than the American Mac & Cheese dish. Instead of cheddar cheese, Gruyere is used. And a touch of nutmeg in the milk and cream sauce takes this dish to another level.


Tricia taking some macaroni and cheese from the stovetop.
Tricia helps herself to some macaroni au gratin in the Rootsliving kitchen.


It’s great served with salad and a crusty baguette.


The Best Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

March 10, 2019
: 6
: 15 min
: 1 hr 10 min
: 1 hr 25 min
: Easy

This recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, “French Home Cooking,” by Paul Bocuse.


  • 1 pound long macaroni (I used dried “bucatini,” but you could also use penne or even elbows.)
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and split lengthwise
  • 4 1/2 cups milk
  • Salt, pepper
  • Nutmeg (preferably, fresh ground)
  • 3/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon, of heavy cream
  • 4 ounces grated Gruyere cheese
  • 2 ounces butter (preferably unsalted), cut into small pieces
  • Step 1 Preheat oven to 350
  • Step 2 Cook macaroni in rapidly boiling salted water for 7 minutes, then drain in a colander (do not cool).
  • Step 3 Rub a large baking dish with the garlic and butter it well.
  • Step 4 Heat the milk in a large saucepan and season generously with salt, pepper, and a just a pinch or two of nutmeg (Note: Nutmeg is strong, especially fresh-ground, and you don’t need much to add flavor).
  • Step 5 Stir in the cream and the macaroni, then pour into the baking dish.
  • Step 6 Sprinkle with grated cheese, dot with butter, and bake for one hour (The macaroni should bake for a long time. It will finish cooking in the milk and become beautifully browned on top).


The Best French Onion Soup Recipe

The Best French Onion Soup Recipe

French cooking doesn’t have to be complicated, as evidenced by this easy recipe for this classic soup.

I found the recipe in a cookbook I bought in Paris more than 20 years ago.  I got it in a small bookshop across from the Luxembourg Gardens: one of my favorite spots for coffee and a walk.

It’s written by French chef Paul Bocuse and it’s called “French Home Cooking.” It has the best French Onion Soup recipe: one that takes about an hour or less to make.

Don’t worry about making your own beef stock. Just buy your favorite store brand. Although you don’t need individual soup crocks it’s fun to have them and you can probably pick up some cheap at a dollar store or on eBay.

French Onion Soup From A Master Chef

January 30, 2014
: 1 hr
: Easy


  • Butter (2 ounces)
  • Onions (About two medium, peeled and sliced into circles)
  • Flour (About one ounce)
  • Beef Stock (or bouillon or even water. I’ve never used water but Mr. Bocuse says it works) (About 2 1/2 pints)
  • French Bread (Two slices per serving, toasted)
  • Gruyere Cheese (About 3 1/2 ounces grated)
  • Pepper (To taste)
  • Breadcrumbs (About an ounce)
  • Port (optional) (About 1/4 cup)
  • Step 1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt half of the butter in a large saucepan on top of the stove.
  • Step 2 Add onions, breaking them into rings. Cook until lightly brown or just starting to turn lightly brown.
  • Step 3 Stir in the flour, scraping the bottom of the pan so the flour doesn’t stick.
  • Step 4 When flour starts to turn brown add the beef stock and stir constantly. Cook over moderate heat for about 15 minutes. Stir in (optional) port about half-way through.
  • Step 5 In a soup tureen or in separate french onion soup crocks create two or three layers of the following: bread, cheese, pepper and sliver of butter.
  • Step 6 Add soup. Then top it off with breadcrumbs and more cheese.
  • Step 7 Bake in oven for about 20 minutes or until the cheese and breadcrumbs have browned. Serve immediately.

(Photo courtesy of Kojach via Flickr.)