A package of pasta in the grocery store costs more than CAN$1 right now, and is gradually climbing to about CAN$1.50. This is a lot to pay for a flour and water product. I’ve stopped buying boxed pasta or the crinkly cello bags of egg noodles. My mother would sometimes make noodles, and the average Waterloo County Mennonite cook would not consider store-bought noodles except in an emergency. So I turned to my favourite Deutsch style cookbook, Food that Really Schmecks, by Edna Staebler.
I have altered her method a bit, as it assumes that one has all day to make noodles, and I don’t think she had ever owned a rotary pizza cutter.
Ingredients: 2 cups flour, 2 eggs or 3-4 egg yolks, a pinch of salt if preferred, maybe 1/2 cup cold water.
Tools: Medium mixing bowl, wooden or steel prep spoon, rolling pin, knife or rotary cutter, cutting board, drying rack or flour dusted dishtowel.
Directions: Put the flour and salt in a bowl, and make a little well in the middle. Drop in the eggs or egg yolks, muddle the egg a bit with the spoon, and stir beaten egg into the flour. If the dough is not hanging together and leaves too many crumbs in the bottom of the bowl, add up to a half-cup of cold water. Knead the dough ball on a floured countertop or pastry board, divide into 4 equal pieces, and roll each piece flat as you can, in a semi-rectangular shape, until it is almost transparent thin. You will have to keep flouring a bit to keep the pin from sticking.
Cut each rectangle the long way into thin strips with the knife or pizza cutter, a 1/4″ to 1/2″ in width, but don’t worry too much about precision. I hang my noodles on my wooden drying rack, or they can be hung on a broomstick or dowel across chair backs. I put a clean towel under the rack in case I drop noodles or they slide off.
Let the noodles dry a couple of hours, get everything else ready for the meal, then get a pot of water boiling. Pull off the noodles you want to cook, boil for no more than five minutes, test for texture, and when satisfactory, drain in a colander. Do not rinse.
Let the rest of the noodles dry at least ten hours or overnight, break into pieces, and store in a jar. Use them within a week or so so they don’t get mouldy if they weren’t perfectly dry.
I put the noodles in bowls, added fresh herbs – chives and parsley from my garden – poured tomato soup over the noodles, and topped it with bits of home-smoked bacon from our local butcher. We shared a bowl of steamed green beans, which we ate with our fingers. (We did use spoons for the soup.)