Macarronada: Venezuelan Macaroni Casserole – Chef’s Pencil


The macarronada is a traditional dish from Zulia, the Venezuelan region that garnered the highest income from hydrocarbons. This area was known for the opulence of many of its residents, and it is fair to say that with the oil boom came a great deal of extravagance.

This left a mark on the local Zulian cuisine, making its dishes more abundant compared to other Venezuelan dishes, with many ingredients and plenty of proteins. Another element to highlight is the influence of Americans who worked in oil companies on local food, infusing Venezuelan cuisine with their beloved oven-baked casserole dishes.

The macarronada is a delightful fusion of lasagna and baked macaroni, boasting an exquisite combination of flavors. This hearty and flavorful dish is perfect for sharing with family, and pasta lovers in particular will find it irresistible.

Macarronada

Macarronada: Venezuelan Macaroni Casserole

Janice Díaz Santana

The macarronada is a traditional Venezuelan dish, a delightful fusion of lasagna and baked macaroni, a delightful treat for pasta lovers.

Prep Time 30 minutes

Cook Time 40 minutes

Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Course Main Course

Cuisine Venezuelan

Ingredients 

 

  • cooking oil
  • 3 ½ oz onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 ½ cups scallions chopped
  • 5 ⅓ oz bell pepper chopped
  • 1 ½ oz stalk of celery chopped
  • 4 ⅔ oz grated carrot
  • 1 lb tomatoes finely chopped (4 tomatoes)
  • 1 lb shredded chicken
  • 2 chili peppers chopped
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp cumin

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups grated white cheese similar to queso fresco
  • 3 eggs

Other ingredients:

  • 2.2 lb macaroni
  • 7 oz sliced salami
  • 7 oz sliced ham
  • grated year-old cheese for topping (like parmesan cheese)

Instructions 

Preparing the stew:

  • Heat the cooking oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, scallions, bell pepper, and celery to the pot. Sauté until the vegetables are tender.

  • Stir in the grated carrot, tomatoes, shredded chicken, and chili peppers.

  • Continue sautéing until the chicken is cooked through and the flavors are well combined.

  • Season with salt, pepper, oregano, and cumin. Mix well and let it simmer over low heat for a few minutes. Set aside.

Preparing the sauce:

  • In a large bowl, mix the milk, grated white cheese, and eggs. Beat well until you get a smooth mixture. Set aside.

Assembling the macarronada:

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). In a greased baking dish, place a layer of cooked macaroni.

  • Cover the macaroni with a layer of the prepared stew.

  • Pour a portion of the cheese sauce over the stew.

  • Place a layer of salami slices over the cheese sauce.

  • Repeat the layering process: macaroni, stew, cheese sauce, and salami. For the final layer, replace the salami with slices of ham.

  • Sprinkle the grated year-old cheese over the top layer.

Baking:

  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.

  • Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly.

Serving:

  • Remove from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

  • Serve hot and enjoy this delicious Zulian macarronada with a sprinkle of grated year-old cheese on top.

Notes

Macarronada: Venezuelan Macaroni Casserole

Related: 23 Foods to Try out in Venezuela
Related: Top Venezuelan Christmas Foods
Related: 15 Most Popular Venezuelan Desserts
Related: Venezuelan Arepas
Related: Quesillo: Venezuelan Flan

Janice Díaz Santana

Chef and gourmet photographer with over a decade of experience. I’ve collaborated on numerous gastronomy blogs and books, and have conducted cooking classes in my home country, Venezuela.

Cooking has always been a profound connection to my happiest memories and cultural heritage. In my family, expressing love often involved preparing delicious meals for our loved ones. While my initial career path led me to graduate as a computer engineer, I found myself drawn back to the world of art.

Photography became my newfound passion, and I dedicated years to studying and honing my skills in this field. Today, as a trained chef, I’ve successfully merged my two greatest passions—photography and cooking. This harmonious blend is evident in each of my images and recipes.



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