Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A New Year Tradition: Noodles

I wanted to prepare something traditional to celebrate the New Year. After perusing options like sauerkraut and black-eyed peas, I decided to make homemade sourdough noodles, which are symbolic of long life. I also made a delicious all-natural sugarless chocolate Bundt cake (circular cakes being traditional for the New Year), but that is another post.

For the pasta:
4 ounces freshly ground wheat
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp organic lard
2 ounces sourdough starter
1 egg, beaten
white flour for dusting

Mix the flour and salt, then cut or rub the lard into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in the starter and egg, then let the dough rest for 8-24 hours. It should be quite dense and not sticky.
On a lightly floured work surface, with a lightly floured French rolling pin (there are special rolling pins for pasta that resemble broom handles, but I do not have one), roll out the pasta to a thickness of 1-2 mm. For noodles, roll it up like a tube and cut the narrowest possible slices. Carefully unroll your noodle slices and either dry them on a rack or cook them right away. For lasagna, cut into wide strips and lay flat to dry. When dried first, fresh pasta cooks in about five minutes. When fresh, it cooks almost instantaneously.

This was my first ever experience with making fresh pasta by hand. It was really gratifying to roll out the pasta, cut it into noodles, dry them on a cookie rack, boil and finally eat them, lightly dressed in butter, fresh tomatoes and cheese. Fresh pasta is one of the greatest and simplest of life's pleasures.


Ann Marie said...

I am going to try this. How long did you leave it out to dry? What kind of flour did you use?

Deborah said...

I used whole hard white wheat (Golden 86 from Walton Feed: http://waltonfeed.com/rahn/whitewht.html). I'm hoping to order some real durum wheat for more authentic pasta. I let them dry six hours (for lunch) and twelve hours (for dinner).

Sa-rah said...

Yum, this sounds like a great pasta recipe that I could actually eat!