Ahh … noodles! Grand and glorious noodles! What’s life without chicken noodle soup. Tuna and noodles. Noodles rule, however there are numerous delectable and oh so easy things you can do with noodles beside these two classics; none of them involving those ol’ 50’s fall-backs involving cream of mushroom soup. Just consider: broad egg noodles simply tossed with sautéed garlic, a bit of olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Add some chopped olives and it takes on a whole other dimension. Add sautéed mushrooms and you have still another dish. Try adding sautéed garlic, and roasted sweet red peppers.
For an easy, fresh and tasty treat, simply add finely minced fresh herbs. The annual, water based herbs are best for this: fresh dill weed, basal, parsley, a whisper of cilantro, (cilantro can get carried away with it’s own importance) and a bit of fresh tarragon.
All the above suggestions are excellent with commercial dry noodles, but have you ever made your own fresh noodles? It’s not all that hard.
Fresh Noodles – (with or without egg)
Serves 2 to 3
1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
¼ cup olive oil
1 egg – optional
A pinch of salt - optional
Mix all ingredients together with just enough cold water to form a soft malleable dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and glossy. Cover and set aside to rest for about twenty minutes.
When ready, cut the dough into four equal sections. One at a time, roll out on a floured surface to be a bit less than ¼ inch thick. Flour liberally on each side and loosely roll up jelly roll fashion. With a sharp knife cut the rolled dough into noodles of whatever thickness you wish. Gently unroll and shake off excess four. Set aside and continue with remaining dough.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add half the noodles. Fresh noodles do not take nearly as much time as dry ones, only about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of cold water. Yes, cold water. Place under running cold water and carefully wash until the water runs clear. Drain in a colander and place in a bowl with a bit of olive oil. Toss about to coat evenly with the oil. Continue with remaining noodles. If the water is to floury, discard and bring fresh water to the boil.
Noodles that have been washed like this and coated with olive oil will hold without sticking together for several hours, even over night in the fridge. To use, place them in a colander and place the colander in a bowl and run hot tap water over them until they are heated. Then use in whatever manner you wish.
Happy National Noodle Month