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Homemade Noodles--How to Make Your Own Pasta From Scratch
Cooked Homemade Noodles
Nothing Beats the Taste and Texture of Homemade Noodles
"Why make homemade pasta?" Someone asked me that the other day, mentioning that pasta in all its shapes and sizes was as near as the local market.
To a person who has never sampled the homemade variety, that seems a relevant question. Why bother going to the effort of making homemade noodles when, in modern times, we have access to an unlimited supply at the grocery store?
Then I was invited out for dinner at a farm. They had a lovely meal and in one of the serving bowls, I noticed some strange looking whitish things. I asked what they were and the hostess told me that what I was seeing was homemade noodles.
Curious, I asked her how she made them. The pasta looked ragged and uneven.
She said she didn't use a pasta machine or any type of cutter. She made her own noodle dough and then cut her noodles by hand. She mentioned she had done this before we arrived.
I was surprised. "But, don't you have to dry the pasta first before cooking it?" I asked.
"No," she replied. "I make my pasta dough and cut out my noodles and drop them into the pot, like I did tonight for the meal."
Huh! Slap me silly. You really do learn something new every day.
To be polite, I thought I would try the odd-looking, crookedly cut noodles. I took a small portion and then ladled gravy over the top. I expected tasteless, doughy pretending-to-be-pasta knock-offs.
Instead, I bit into what can only be described as "pure velvet." They were fantastic! These noodles were nothing like their store-bought counterparts. From that moment, I was hooked and decided that I would master the art of noodle-making.
When I came home, I set about learning how to make my own homemade, hand-cut pasta. I've now added homemade noodles to my repertoire of recipes I make again and again. And I've learned a few tricks of the trade that I'll share in this article.
I recently had a crowd in and I baked a ham, then I placed my homemade noodles in the casserole dish with the ham and poured cream sauce over it. My guests raved over the meal. They, too, had never sampled homemade pasta and loved it!
The noodles you will learn to make would be wonderful dropped into homemade chicken soup, as was done in times past, or could be added to any homemade soup or stew.
When the Pantry is Bare
Homemade noodles are perfect when you need to make a meal or need something for a side dish.
Homemade noodles truly are a special treat and once you master the art of noodle-making, you'll find yourself making your own noodles again and again. Store-bought pasta is fine, for the most part, but homemade noodles are completely different.
If you're a fan of comfort foods, these noodles are hard to beat. They are just so satisfying and filling.
A batch of noodles can be made quickly. This is especially handy if you want to add more ingredients to a soup and don't have pasta on hand or if you are shy on side-dish ideas.
If you've always wondered how to actually make homemade noodles, use the noodle recipes below to make your own noodles.
Meal in a Minute
A simple meal idea: Toss homemade noodles with real butter, then sprinkle Parmesan over. So simple, so good!
How to Make Homemade Noodles
Wondering how to make homemade noodles? It's as easy as 1-2-3. Use any of the noodle recipes below (recipes with/without eggs, with cream or water) to get started but before you try any of these, pay particular attention to my noodle-making tips. Making noodles can be easy-as-pie or a long, drawn-out and frustrating process. Pasta dough is stiff and it takes some kneading. For someone starting out, they might conclude that their noodles are a flop because the dough doesn't "feel right." Noodle dough has a different texture. Be patient, work it with your hands and you will be surprised at the finished product. Your noodles may look crude but once they cook up, you will be glad you tried your hand at it.
The process gets easier, as you do it. These days, I think nothing of putting on a batch of homemade noodles and I always make enough so that I can freeze some for a future meal.A little know-how makes a world of difference when it comes to making your own noodles.
Noodle Recipe With Eggs & Cream
- 2 eggs (scramble with a fork)
- half tsp. salt
- 2 cups of flour
- 3-4 tbsp. rich cream (I use 18% table cream) + water, as needed
- Mix with a wooden spoon (or use hand-swirl method (see tips below)) and add liquid to moisten flour until a dough ball forms. Knead until light and smooth.
- Roll out on a floured board and keep working and rolling dough (adding flour) until it is no longer sticky.
- Roll out dough until it is quit thin because it puffs up when cooking.
- Cut your noodles with a knife or a pizza wheel. Making homemade pasta noodles with a pizza wheel saves time and is so much easier.
* If you don't have cream, no worries, simply use one of the other recipes in this hub. I pretty much make noodles with whatever ingredients I have on hand.
Rolling Out Your Noodle Dough
Your noodle dough will feel stiff and this is normal. The key is to continue kneading the dough until it becomes smooth.
1) I flour the counter and once the dough forms into a ball, place it on the counter top and keep working it by heeling it in the flour until the dough becomes smooth and free of small lumps. You will develop a feel for how the dough should feel. It should become be smooth and lump free.
2) Cut your dough into palm-sized portions.
3) I like to use a marble rolling pin instead of a wood one--the weight helps when rolling out noodle dough and the smooth marble surface (over wood, which dough sticks to) makes for easier clean-up. Make sure you roll your dough out on a board. While a counter is ideal for cutting our noodles, you don't want to leave cut-marks of scratched in your counter top.
4) Sprinkle flour over the top of your noodle dough and roll out thin. Your noodles will puff up as they cook and increase in thickness. You don't want noodles to cook overly thick and heavy.
Working With Noodle Dough--Cutting Into Portions & Rolling Out
The Mother of all Noodle-Cutting Tricks
I had confided to a friend that the worst part of making noodles was trying to cut them. They stretched when I tried to saw through them with a knife. My friend suggested using a pizza wheel and said that his relatives always used one to cut their noodles.
Noodle Cutting Tricks
The very texture of noodle dough is such that if you try to cut it with a regular knife, it stretches and, at times, tears.
A pizza cutter makes the process one hundred percent easier. The wheel effortlessly slices through the noodle dough and you will have long strips of noodles cut out in record time.
I go up and then back down, which makes for faster cutting. It is a good idea to cut your noodles on a cutting board instead of your counter so that the pizza wheel does not scratch your counter top.
A couple of noodle-making sessions will give you a feel for making your homemade noodles.Once you get onto the process, a batch of noodles can be made quickly. This is especially handy if you want to add more ingredients to a soup and don't have pasta on hand or if you are shy on side-dish ideas.
Cutting Homemade Noodles
Second Noodle-Cutting Trick
Use your rolling pin for a straight edge. You've already got it handy, why struggle with trying to make straight cuts free-hand? And it rolls so you can keep cutting.
A Rolling Pin Can Be Used for a Straight Edge. You'll End Up With "Neater" Noodles
Why I like Homemade Noodles
- I love the velvety texture of homemade noodles.
- I make mine ahead and freeze them. (I recently had a crowd in and defrosted and then placed my homemade noodles in a large casserole dish. I added my cream sauce and kept all warm on top of the stove. Everyone served themselves and most of my guests mentioned that they had never sampled homemade noodles.)
- If I'm shy on groceries, a simple plate of homemade noodles, topped with butter and Parmesan or with a cream sauce makes a satisfying meal.
Mm-Mm Good... Ready to Pop Into a Soup
Did You Know?
Using the hand-swirl method makes mixing dough so much easier. Simply swirl your hand in a circular motion to mix ingredients until a ball forms. This means no sticky wooden spoon to clean up.
My Top Noodle-Making Tips
I've learned so much since struggling through making my first batch of noodles. My first try, I made a VERY stiff dough and found it so hard to knead! I thought I had to. Since then I've learned that a soft, moist dough is so much easier to work with.
- To reduce dough stiffness, make a moister dough
- Use the hand-swirl method to mix your dough (see above). Ingredients mix up effortlessly
- Use a pizza wheel instead of a knife to effortlessly cut noodle dough
- Use your rolling pin as a straight edge when cutting out noodle strips
Homemade Noodles for Two
Want to make a small batch of homemade noodles? This recipe is perfect for two!
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 egg
- salt to taste
- a few drops of milk or water
Easy Homemade Egg Noodles
- 6 eggs
- 1tsp. salt
- 6 tbsp. water
- Add enough flour to make a stiff dough.
- Knead well, then roll into thin sheets on a floured surface and cut in long strips.
- Cook in boiling water until noodles float.
How to Make Eggless Noodles for Soup
If you want to drop homemade noodles into a pot of homemade soup and are shy on groceries or want to go eggless, make these quick and easy soup noodles:
- 1 cup flour
- 1-2 tsp. oil
- 1/2-1tsp salt
- Enough water to moisten
Knead until smooth, roll out on a floured counter & cut into strips with a pizza cutter. Drop these noodles into your soup about 10 minutes before you are ready to serve it. These noodles are tender and have that velvety texture you only find with homemade noodles.
Eggless Noodles With Baking Powder--A Good All-Round Basic Recipe
- 1-2 cups flour
- A shake of baking powder (1/2-1 tsp)
- A shake of salt
- Water to moisten
A Word About Noodle Recipes
After you've tried a couple of these recipes, you may find that you do as I do: I simply dump a handful or two of flour into a bowl, shake in a bit of baking powder and moisten with water. I don't measure. I've made noodles so often now that I could do it in my sleep. And they turn out just as velvety every time. I sometimes will add some olive oil to my noodle dough, if I have it on hand. Don't sweat it if you are out of eggs or milk. Homemade noodles can be made either "plain" (flour, baking powder, water) or "fancy" (eggs and milk or cream). There are no hard-and-fast rules.
Easy Soup Noodles Cut Into Interesting Shapes
Use one of the noodle recipes above. Roll noodle dough out into a large thin rectangle on floured counter.
Now, instead of slicing noodles into thin strips, use your pizza cutter and cut dough horizontally and vertically, basically an X's & O's pattern. Cut on the small side. You will have flat, thin squares, which make nice wholesome soup noodles. Drop these into homemade soup and enjoy! Flat square pasta is great for Italian-style dishes.
Get creative with your homemade noodles and plan to make interesting shapes. Cutting your noodles on the diagonal will result in diamond-shaped noodles.
See my next hub: Tasty Cream Sauces for Noodles to make your own velvety cream sauce to top your homemade noodles.
How to Cook Homemade Noodles
Drop your noodles into boiling water and cook until they float. Reduce heat to avoid boil-over.
Scoop noodles out with a slotted spoon (and place in a strainer) to save your hot water, then drop in the next batch of noodles.
You can serve your noodles immediately. Reheat noodles you plan on using later in the day.
Cooking Homemade Noodles
Drain noodles in a strainer. You can use either a metal or plastic strainer to do the job. It doesn't hurt to give them a shake, which helps to remove excess moisture.
Lay Out Noodles to Drain and Dry
If I'm going to freeze my noodles, I like to spread them out on a tea towel. The towel absorbs excess moisture, which helps to reduce formation of ice crystals.
Drying Homemade Noodles Before Freezing Them
Plastic bags make good containers for freezing noodles. I place a thick layer in each bag and then these can be stacked. A freezer container can also be used, depending on portion size.
Drying Your Homemade Noodles
If you prefer to completely dry your homemade noodles, inexpensive drying racks are available--and preferable to using a chair back (as was done years ago) or a broom handle.
Place your fresh noodles on a drying rack and allow to completely dry. Store as you would for regular pasta.
Drying Fresh Homemade Noodles
Clean Up Noodle Dough with a Scraper
Once you've rolled out your noodle dough and cut all your noodles, you can make short work of your clean-up with a scraper. Scrapers come in metal or plastic material and are ideal for removing hardened bits of dough and flour from counters. I prefer plastic or rubber to reduce scratching. These truly are fabulous little clean-up tools.
Serving Suggestions for Homemade Noodles
Once you've made your homemade noodles, how will you serve them? Noodles can be served using the suggestions below.
- Plain: Serve fresh noodles with butter, salt and pepper, and seasonings of choice.
- Topped With Spaghetti Sauce--I like to make whole wheat noodles and top them with spaghetti sauce.
- Italiano Noodles: Toss noodles with olive oil, salt and pepper, basil, crushed garlic, and parmesan. Top with sliced black olives.
- Chicken and Noodles: If you've baked a chicken, make a gravy with the broth and top your noodles with it. Serve homemade noodles alongside of baked chicken for a hearty old-fashioned dinner--sure to become a family favorite!
- Noodle "Chips": Place noodles in a greased roasting pan and drizzle oil over them. Bake until crispy and golden brown. Dip noodles in dipping sauce of choice.
- Cheesy Noodles: Place noodles in a greased casserole dish and, when warm, toss with butter. Top with grated cheddar and serve when cheese is bubbly.
- Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup: Homemade noodles have a velvety consistency and go particularly well in homemade chicken noodle soup. Prepare soup and drop in a handful or two of frozen noodles before serving.
Homemade Noodles in a Hurry
A large batch of homemade noodles can be made ahead of time and frozen so that when time is at a premium, you have a supply of noodles at the ready.
You can also make noodles using different flour to add wholesomeness to the mix. Why not try homemade whole wheat or homemade buckwheat noodles?
Noodles Topped With Parmesan
Making Homemade Pasta
Tools When Making Homemade Pasta
- Use a heavy & smooth rolling pin (dough rolls out easier and doesn't stick to pin as easily)
- Use a pizza wheel to effortlessly cut noodles
- Use a slotted spoon to lift noodles out of water, if you need to cook a second batch and want to save your hot water
- Use a scraper to remove hardened dough from counter
Homemade Noodles--Soft... Velvety... Delicious!
Have you Tried Making Homemade Noodles?
© 2007 Athlyn Green