Estrada’s Style Macaroni

Look Alike Taste Alike

Eastrada's Style MacaroniGetting close to breaking the code! Just know this recipe is a knock off. The basics of the recipe are similar to the original but some of the products I suggest weren’t even available 100 years ago. In fact, the pasta here lacks the size (diameter) of the Estrada’s macaroni. The secret in part is to cook the pasta past the al dente stage to produce a softer larger noodle. This recipe can be tweaked and maybe even made more healthy in the eyes of some. In 1914 when this restaurant was opened the food experience was different and this recipe is meant to recapture that moment in history. Thank you Debbie for one of the original Estrada’s pitchers … And too helping with the taste test. I have made some changes after this taste test. The roux is all important.


1/2 Cup diced very small almost minced sweet yellow onion-prepare before making the roux and have close by
1 Clove garlic-minced and have close by
3 Tablespoons of lard
3 Tablespoons of all purpose flour
28 Ounce can Muir Glen Chunky Tomato Sauce-fork down chunks, this recipe is not a chunky sauce-do not blend however. Muir Glen Tomato Sauce can be purchased here. If you substitute use Italian tomatoes.
2 Large bay leaves
Pasta water or chicken broth to thin down sauce if it becomes too thick-the sauce should cling to the pasta (not too thin) but at the same time when spooned on the pasta it shouldn’t pile up (too thick).
8 Ounce can of mushrooms-drained (This provided more mushrooms in the sauce than I remember. 5 ounces may be enough)
1 Cup Grated Monterey Jack Cheddar combination
1 Pound Bucatini (or long ziti)-cooked past the al dente stage, use a tablespoon of salt in cooking water (or try to find long ziti and cook al dente or just a hint longer) Amazon has long ziti here Or get it here
1 Tablespoon of butter

Salt to taste, add pepper if you feel you need, I didn’t

Use a heavy bottomed skillet that has a lid.

Melt the lard over low/medium heat Sprinkle the flour over the melted lard a little at a time and stir to incorporate.

The roux needs your attention but doesn’t need to be constantly stirred because the heat is kept low. Allow the roux to continue to heat stirring as needed to avoid burning. The color will begin to change and the process is finished when the roux reaches the color of a penny.

When the roux color has changed to the desired penny color add the onion and garlic. Mash with the back of wooden spoon to provide a smooth roux. Cook a few minutes to incorporate the onion and garlic.

Slowly add the tomato sauce. Stirring as you go to maintain smoothness. The chunky sauce will have a few chunks here and there and this is okay. Add the bay leaves.

Cover the skillet and low low simmer about 20 minutes. It takes this time to get the best flavor from the bay leaves.

During this time cook the pasta.

Uncover the skillet and add the mushrooms. Add liquid if you need to thin the sauce. If sauce is too thin simmer a bit longer without the lid.

Drain the pasta and add the butter to melt through.

Place pasta in an oven proof buttered dish large enough to provide just one layer of pasta. The thickness observed in my photo.

Spoon on sauce, removing leaves. Sprinkle with the cheese.

Pop dish into broiler oven that has heated for a few minutes on HI. Make sure your dish can tolerate this heat. Allow the cheese to melt but not brown.

It’s done!


  1. MeanMommy
    Posted July 9, 2017 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    This is the closest I have seen. A few hints…the lard is pre-seasoned, used previously in frying chips, chicken, potates, rellenos, etc. “anything but fish”. Strain w a cheesecloth and keep frying with it until well seasoned. Takes me a couple months sometimes.
    …onion is cooked until it is transparent, almost dissolved.
    …equal amounts of canned natural crushed tomatoes and tomato puree, (tomato as the only ingredient).
    …beef base is added to the tomato sauce, a tsp would fit for this size recipe.
    …the macaroni is maccheroni pasta, an old world pasta. Closest in stores is perciatelli. Bucatini is too small and ziti is too big.

    • Posted July 17, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for the tips. I’m not sure where you experienced this dish. Would you like to share?

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