Saturday, February 11, 2012

JOT #35: Homemade noodles

Once a week, we have noodles for lunch or dinner. Not pasta, but noodles. The distinction is in the seasonings - usually asian-inspired, with vegetables and some spiciness and most often some soy or similar sauce, with or without tofu.

But many of the noodles (Top Ramen, Maggie) not only contain MSG but are not very healthy. Add that to their excessive packaging (plastic packet, plus little foil packets of seasoning), and this is not a sustainable meal.

I decided to try my hand at making noodles. I followed a simple vegan pasta noodle recipe: 1 cup semolina flour, 1 cup all-purpose, a dash of salt, then mix in 1 T olive oil (I used the good stuff). Add water (recipe said 1/2 cup but I ended up with more like 3/4) and knead briefly.

Then it goes in the pasta machine. This is where the real trick is. I could have chickened out and tried it by hand but that would be dangerous and potentially disastrous.

I found a system that finally worked, and cut some fine noodles on the machine. They came out somewhere between ramen and angel-hair pasta - square rather than smooth, with edges that would catch some sauce. No smell of plastic. I let it dry for half an hour (or more) before cooking. Since I didn't have extra hands to help me hang up the pasta, it sort of melded into a big ball, which later separated when cooking. With some broccoli, carrots, and black bean garlic sauce (yes, purchased and leftover), it was fantastic and leftovers disappeared the next day. Well worth the effort.

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