Friday, March 5, 2010

Homemade Egg Noodles

Homemade Egg Noodles

If you have a good source of farm-raised, pastured eggs, one of the best ways of showing them off is by making homemade egg noodles.

We often think of homemade pasta as a time-intensive process that includes a lot of mess and a lot of rolling equipment to clean.  In reality, most "peasant" cultures have developed quick ways of making pasta; it really should be considered a quick staple rather than an occasional treat.

To make homemade pasta you will need:

"Equal amounts" flour and eggs.  That is, if you have three eggs, you need to use three cups of flour
Pinch of salt
Water as needed

Place the flour in a bowl and make a well in the center; crack the eggs into the well, and add the salt.  Mix with water as needed to make a thick paste (the genesis of the word "pasta").

If you are pressed for time, you can then take this mixture by rounded spoonfuls and drop into a pot of boiling water; when the dumplings float, they are cooked.  Or, if you have a little more time, you can roll the dough out into a sheet about a half an inch thick and cut into your desired shape with a pizza cutter or knife.

In the image at the top of the post, you will see that I cut my pasta dough into rectangles and then twisted it to make bow-ties.  I had a lot of time on my hands that day, and the whole project still took only 45 minutes.  When I am pressed, I will just cut the rectangles and be done.

Cook the fresh pasta in salted boiling water until it floats; you will need to cook much less pasta than you normally do store-bought pasta, as this is denser and more filling.  If you have cut your noodles thin enough, you can dry them by leaving them sitting out in on a cookie sheet.

The Analysis

Fast:  It takes less time to make noodles than you think; remember, "peasant" food is nothing if not efficient to make.

Cheap:  Most of your cost comes from the eggs; since my pastured eggs are nearly 30 cents a piece, this batch of pasta came in at less than $1.75, and the batch generated at least four servings.

Good:  Don't cover these up with heavy sauce; I like to have my homemade egg noodles with pasture butter and home grown sage.  Yum.
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