Artist's Palate: Ugo Rondinone's Swiss alpine macaroni

Tuck into the Swiss artist’s crowd-pleasing recipe

alpine macaroni
(Image credit: Baker & Evans)

From his seven stacks of fluorescent boulders in the desert outside Las Vegas, to walls of mirrored windows in jewel-like hues, and poetic phrases that arch across rainbow-coloured neon signs, Ugo Rondinone’s artwork is made for our fast-moving times: exuberant, visually arresting and impossible to forget.

His favourite dish is subdued in comparison, a comforting combination of pasta, potatoes, bacon and garlic that ‘mixes Italian cuisine with down-to-earth Swissness’, says the New York-based, Swiss-born mixed-media artist. It’s not quite as social media friendly, but a crowd-pleaser all the same.

250g dry elbow macaroni
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
250g bacon
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
1 tbs butter 250ml cream, half and half, whole milk or a mixture of any of these
1½ tbs cornflour
3 tbs chopped fresh parsley
250g cheese, such as Bergkäse, Gruyère, Appenzeller or Emmentale
breadcrumbs, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 190C.

Boil the macaroni and potatoes separately until al dente. Set aside. Cut the bacon into strips and cook until lightly crisp. Set aside. Sauté the onions and garlic in butter until caramelised and browned. Set aside.

Mix the cream or milk with cornflour and parsley in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Layer half of the cooked macaroni, potatoes, bacon, onions and cheese in a 2-quart casserole dish, then repeat the layers.

Pour the milk mixture over the macaroni, sprinkle breadcrumbs on top and bake for 35 minutes until lightly browned.

A version of this article originally featured in the January 2020 issue of Wallpaper* (W*250)

TF Chan is a former editor of Wallpaper* (2020-23), where he was responsible for the monthly print magazine, planning, commissioning, editing and writing long-lead content across all pillars. He also played a leading role in multi-channel editorial franchises, such as Wallpaper’s annual Design Awards, Guest Editor takeovers and Next Generation series. He aims to create world-class, visually-driven content while championing diversity, international representation and social impact. TF joined Wallpaper* as an intern in January 2013, and served as its commissioning editor from 2017-20, winning a 30 under 30 New Talent Award from the Professional Publishers’ Association. Born and raised in Hong Kong, he holds an undergraduate degree in history from Princeton University.