Leo Tolstoy’s Family Recipe for Macaroni and Cheese

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In 1874, Stepan Andreevich Bers published The Cookbook and gave it as a gift to his sister, countess Sophia Andreevna Tolstaya, the wife of the great Russian novelist, Leo Tolstoy. The book contained a collection of Tolstoy family recipes, the dishes they served to their family and friends, those fortunate souls who belonged to the aristocratic ruling class of late czarist Russia. Almost 150 years later, this cookbook has been translated and republished by Sergei Beltyukov. Available in an inexpensive Kindle format ($3.99), Leo Tolstoy’s family recipe book features dozens of recipes, everything from Tartar Sauce and Spiced Mushrooms (what’s a Russian kitchen without mushrooms?), to Stuffed Dumplings and Green Beans à la Maître d’Hôtel, to Coffee Cake and Viennese Pie. The text comes with a translation, too, of Russian weights and measures used during the period. One recipe Mr. Beltyukov provided to us (which I didn’t see in the book) is for the Tolstoy’s good ole Mac ‘N’ Cheese dish. It goes something like this:

Bring water to a boil, add salt, then add macaroni and leave boiling on light fire until half tender; drain water through a colander, add butter and start putting macaroni back into the pot in layers – layer of macaroni, some grated Parmesan and some vegetable sauce, macaroni again and so on until you run out of macaroni. Put the pot on the edge of the stove, cover with a lid and let it rest in light fire until the macaroni are soft and tender. Shake the pot occasionally to prevent them from burning.

We’ll leave you with bon appétit! — an expression almost certainly heard in the homes of those French-speaking Russian aristocrats.

Related Content:

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Works by Tolstoy can be found in our collections, 600 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices and 550 Free Audio Books: Download Great Books for Free


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  1. Jennifer Thompson says . . . | June 25, 2014 / 8:51 am

    What is vegetable sauce, I wonder?

  2. Vidiot says . . . | June 25, 2014 / 12:55 pm

    I wonder if “vegetable sauce” should be “béchamel sauce.”

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/mario-batali/bechamel-sauce-recipe.html

  3. geo whets says . . . | June 25, 2014 / 9:04 pm

    that’s my question.

  4. Amanda Tucker says . . . | June 26, 2014 / 12:31 pm

    It looks like the book has a recipe for a mixed vegetable sauce. There is also one for bechamel sauce, but it is nothing like Mario Batali’s.

  5. Joe bagadonuts says . . . | June 28, 2014 / 2:00 pm

    Since they use Parmesan, I would guess a tomato base sauce.

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