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I am a wife, mother, teacher, runner, baker, fund-raiser, reader, watcher of movies, dog-lover, writer, music-lover and foodie. So - I'm a woman of many moods! I write and share in order to teach and enrich. I currently have two blogs going: The Kitchen Refugee, and A Mile At A Time. The first is about time spent in the kitchen and the second about time spent on the road. Frequently the two roads intersect!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Oodles of Noodles

One of the things I've really been enjoying lately is homemade noodles.  Originally, I had thought about getting one of those fancy noodle-making attachments for my Kitchenaid mixer, but they're really expensive!  I couldn't really justify having a $300 Playdough hair maker!

Lucky for me, I was watching an episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations, and he was in Italy.  He was in the home of an Italian grandmother, and she was the kind of woman who mixes her noodles right on the countertop.  The next thing she did completely boggled my mind - she rolled the dough out, floured it liberally and rolled it up cinnamon roll style, and then cut them!  It looked so easy!  I figured even I could manage that method, so I got to looking up noodle recipes.Many of the recipes I found online called for semolina flour.  This was a new purchase for me so I went with the Bob's Red Mill (http://www.bobsredmill.com/) brand, and I used the recipe from the bag.  The consistency is perfect and the dough is really easy to manage.

3/4 cup semolina flour
3/4 cup white flour (or wheat)
½ tsp salt
2 eggs or 3 egg whites (or equivalent egg substitute)
2 TB water
2 TB olive oil

Mix all of it together with a fork until it forms a dough ball and all the flour is mixed in.  Cover, and let rest for 30 minutes.  The dough doesn't rise, it just says on the package that it needs to rest.  I interpret this to mean that the cook should pour a glass of wine, and kick back for a half an hour.

When it’s time to make the noodles, generously flour the counter and roll the dough out as thin as you can.
 You should be able to see the counter through it.

Next, flour the surface of the dough and roll or fold it, 
making sure that every exposed side of dough gets dusted with flour - you'll thank me later! 

Once you have the dough rolled up, cut noodles as 
wide or narrow as you wish. Obviously, with this method,  you can't make spaghetti, but I can live with that!  

This is when I call for my hubby to come help unfurl the noodles.  If you have floured well, you can grab one end and fling them out like little ribbons.  The last time I made them, I realized that if I’ve floured properly, I don’t even have to handle them individually - I can gently shake them loose, a handful at a time.  That's all there is to it!

I know many people dry their noodles, but we prefer dropping them straight into boiling water.   I have frozen them before, and I don't think the texture is as good. It wasn't worth saving a few minutes of work at the end of the day.  We are both so spoiled with these noodles that I've stopped buying noodles at the store.  This dough can be cut wide for lasagna, or like egg noodles for stroganoff.  

This recipe is simple, and good.  I even make noodles on weeknights (but save myself some time with frozen sauce - homemade, of course).
You can do this - I promise!

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