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Serranía Kitchen - recipes from around the world

This blog contains a selection of recipes from all over, in particular from Andalucía, Asia, England, Germany and the Mediterranean. Contributors include Rita Drechsler, Jovan Le Knorz, Madita Schröder, and Paul Whitelock, who are all members of the same extended Anglo-German family. Rita and Paul live in the Serranía de Ronda in Andalucía. Madita and Jovan live in Baden-Wuerttemberg, near Heilbronn, Germany.

Rita’s “Nudelauflauf” - Serrania style
Wednesday, January 24, 2024 @ 9:27 AM

German noodle casserole

This is similar to macaroni cheese, but much tastier.



Recipe details

Yield:              4  servings

Time:              Preparation time: 30 mins   Cook time: 20 mins   Total time: 50 mins 



  • 500 g pasta (any pasta type goes)
  • 3/4 cup butter (1/3 for the sauce and 1/2 for the topping)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 4 cups milk (dairy or non-dairy, eg almond milk)
  • 1 whole egg (optional)
  • 3/4 cup ham, diced
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • salt and black pepper to taste



In a large pot of salted water, cook the pasta al dente according to the package instructions.

Drain, toss with some butter or oil, and set aside.

In a large pot, melt butter and add flour. Mix well and cook for 1 min.

While constantly whisking, gradually add the milk.

Simmer for about 5 mins until the sauce has thickened.

Whisk in the egg, if using.

Season with nutmeg, salt, and black pepper.

Place the pasta in a large baking dish.

Add diced ham and pour the white sauce over the pasta. Distribute evenly.

First, sprinkle the grated cheese, then the breadcrumbs over the dish. Place dollops of butter on top.

Bake in a preheated oven at 200˚C for about 20 mins or until golden-brown.


Variations and substitutions


Pasta: I recommend using rigatoni, macaroni, or other smaller shapes but you can use your favourite pasta.

Flour: you can replace regular all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour or spelt flour.

Milk: you can use any milk, either regular or non-dairy, eg almond milk.

Butter: while butter is best for this recipe, you can also use for example avocado oil, canola oil, or olive oil.

Ham: you can use any ham or prosciutto. Or completely omit it for a vegetarian version.

Cheese: parmesan is the classic cheese for this noodle dish but you can use other cheeses such as gruyere or cheddar.

Additional ingredients: you could replace some of the milk with heavy cream or sour cream.

Extra flavours: Less traditional but very flavourful would be to add ground beef, diced tomatoes, caramelized onion, green beans, or your favourite vegetables.



Since this dish is pretty substantial, I feel that it is perfect on its own with a green salad on the side for a complete meal.


To drink

A refreshing Hefeweizen (wheat beer) from Germany is perfect. Aldi and LIDL sell it, as do Mercadona and Carrefour/Supeco.

German brands I have bought locally include Erdinger, Franziskaner, Oettinger, Paulaner, and LIDL's own brand Patronus.

Non-German wheat beers include Mahou (Madrid) and Sagra (Toledo).




© Rita Whitelock

Translated from the original German by A1 Translations (


Tags: Aldi, almond milk, butter, Carrefour, cheese, egg, Erdinger, Franziskaner, green salad, Hefeweizen, La Sagra, LIDL, macaroni, macaroni cheese, Mahou, Mercadona, noodle casserole, Nudelauflauf, Oettinger, olive oil, pasta, Paulaner, Patronus, Rita Whitelock, spelt flour, Supeco, wheat beer, whole wheat flour


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