Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Kids in the Kitchen - Homemade Pasta

This is definitely the time of year for some hot soup - and some homemade noodles in that homemade soup!

This is a simple - kid friendly recipe to make with the kids on one of those "snow days" or when you're looking for some kitchen fun.

I've made these noodles five or so times and they've always turned out great (or maybe we just have low noodle standards around these parts).

It has been my experience that young kids love pasta. They don't necessarily go for the tomato sauces or creamy sauces - they like their noodles bare (with maybe a sprinkle of parmesan or a dab of butter).

My kids enjoy helping make noodles - b/c it's fun to see this glob of dough turning into one of their favorite meals. You do NOT need a pasta machine.

Let the kids do as much of this themselves! I know some moms have a hard time letting kids do things in the kitchen. Whether it's due to fear that the kids will get hurt or fear that the kids will "ruin" the recipe...or my usual concern - it's just faster to do it myself! But this is an activity for the kids - so try to keep your hands out as much as possible. And it doesn't matter if it takes a lot longer because remember you are doing this because you've got some time to kill!

Homemade noodles

1 egg, beaten
1/2 t salt
2 T milk or water
1 c flour

1. Combine egg, salt and milk or cold water.
2. Add enough flour to make a stiff dough, mixing with your hands when it gets too stiff to stir with a wooden spoon.
3. Roll very thin - 1/8" thick on a floured surface...let dry 30 min. before cutting
4. Roll up as for a jellyroll, and slice thin or cut into strips with a sharp knife.
5. Spread out to dry for at least 2 hrs before cooking. When dried, the noodles can be stored several days in an airtight container, or they can be frozen.

To prepare - drop dried noodles into boiling broth or water. Continue cooking 8-15 min or until tender.

NOTE: I do not roll my flat dough up - instead I leave it laying flat and cut out the strips with a pizza cutter. Nice and kid friendly - don't need to worry about them slicing off fingers. Of course the strips are not even - but that adds to the "rustic" look of these noodles. I guess you could use a ruler and run the pizza cutter down the side of it to make the strips more even.

I read a fun way to let the noodles dry. Place a broom handle between 2 chairs and cover with a clean dish towel. Hang the noodles over the towel. I tried that for the first time and it worked great! (the kids thought I was crazy...) A lot of the noodles did break when I took them off the broom - don't know if it was b/c I let them dry too long (all afternoon) 0r what the reason was. But I had planned to break them up into bite-sized chunks for the soup I was making anyway - so that worked out fine.

Noodles Hanging to Dry

My kids prefer the noodles pretty plain - but I usually add them to some homemade soup. I usually cook the noodles before adding them to the soup so they don't soak up all the soup water - but you can do it either way.

As you are probably noticing - the noddles in these pictures look whole-wheatish. I decided to try using half white flour and half whole wheat flour (I also doubled the recipe to get this amount of noodles). The mix of flours worked out great - and the kids still loved them!

Close up of dried noodles

For more winter fun with the kids - check out Scribbit. She is hosting a Winter Bazaar - fun ideas for winter entertainment.


My Ice Cream Diary said...

We love making noodles around here too. When I make chicken noodle soup I roll the dough very thin and then I let the kids cut them out with little tiny cookie cutters. They love finding the different shapes in their soup.

Mrs. Mordecai said...

My mom used to make noodles like these with whole-wheat flour and serve them with her amazing homemade stroganoff . . . I wish I could make some today, but alas, the kitchen is halfway packed.

Scribbit said...

I love fresh pasta, I have this enormous Cuisinart maker that my mom passed down to me that works well but is a pain to clean. I should make noodles more often.

Edi said...

Re: Cuisinart maker...I would enjoy having a real pasta maker - but the size of it and lack of space in my cupboards is one reason to do it by hand.

I saw one once at the thrift store and considered buying it - but I wasn't sure how to get it clean...

Extraordinary Ordinary Life said...

I am definitely going to have to try this. I wanted to get a pasta maker, but I may not have to now. Thank you!