A classic German comfort dish perfect for a chilly day
This is a macaroni and cheese dish that I promise anyone can make and absolutely everyone will want to. Throughout my latest series, I’ve been exploring macaroni and cheese variations from around the world. This installment takes us to Hungary for a delicious bowl of Túrós Tészta.
Túrós Tészta, or cottage cheese noodles, is a hearty meal that can be found throughout Hungary. According to Mati, who kindly shared her recipe for this episode, Túrós Tészta is a frequent part of school lunches in Hungary as either the main dish or as a side dish for soups and stews. All I can say is – I wish my school cafeteria lunches looked like this.
Although Mati grew up in Hungary, she now lives in the United States and whenever she feels homesick, Túrós Tészta is the perfect cure. She shares that the cottage cheese noodles are a warm reminder of her family and especially her mom, who was usually the chef behind Mati’s childhood Túrós Tészta. Now in the United States, Mati follows her mother’s recipe with just a few minor adjustments.
The traditional version of Túrós Tészta calls for egg noodles, sour cream, farmer cheese, and Szalonna. Farmer cheese is a white, subtle cheese with a dry texture and slightly tangy taste, while Szalonna is a type of smoked pork belly that’s found throughout Hungarian cuisine. In the United States, Mati has found it tricky to get her hands on these two ingredients, so now uses cottage cheese in place of farmer cheese and thick, smoked bacon in place of Szalonna. Of course, if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on the original ingredients, feel free to use them too!
No matter which set of ingredients you use, Túrós Tészta is essentially egg noodles smothered in a creamy, cheese sauce with crumbled bacon on top. This dish begins by boiling the egg noodles, draining them, and setting them aside while you crisp up the bacon. The cooked egg noodles are then sautéed together with the farmer cheese or cottage cheese and sour cream until everything forms a stringy, gooey, sauce. To serve, you simply top the mixture with crumbled bacon bits and a bit of green onion.
The final creation is creamy and hearty with a bit of tang from the sour cream and a bit of smokiness from the bacon. Túrós Tészta is a wonderful twist on macaroni and cheese that’s incredibly easy and affordable to make.
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