Friday, April 23, 2010

Homemade Pasta X 2 Plus Alfredo Sauce

My great grandmother used to make her own noodles, and they were a lot like these, only, you know, better.

Her recipe:

Homemade Noodles by Hand

3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon poultry seasoning (optional)
1 large egg, beaten

Sift flour and other dry ingredients together. Add gradually to beaten egg, mixing until thoroughly blended. Roll paper thin on a floured board, keeping the shape rectangular as much as possible. Allow to stand 20 minutes. Roll up and slice 1/8 inch wide for fine noodles, or 1/2 inch wide for broad ones. Toss lightly to separate strands, and spread out to dry for several hours. Makes 1/2 pound of dried noodles.

She gave me that recipe thirty-some years ago, and I've made them three or four times. It's hard work, as the dough is very stiff, and rolling it out is pretty tough, too. But they make absolutely the best chicken and noodles.

Recently I picked up a pasta machine on sale. And my standing mixer has a dough hook. Technology to my rescue yet again. This recipe is more traditionally European, and quite simple.

Homemade Pasta 2
  • 3 cups flour (all purpose, semolina, or a mixture of the two)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs

Sift flour and salt together in mixing bowl. Create a well in the center. Crack in the eggs. Mix with dough hook until you have a fairly stiff dough that holds together. Add a little water if needed in order to get a workable texture. I ended up adding a weensy pullet egg for extra moisture in this batch.

You can also do this by hand. Put the flour+salt on a board, make the well, add the eggs, and mix them into the surrounding flour with a fork. Here's a tutorial for doing it that way.

Either way, the dough is pliable and a lovely yellow. Allow to sit for twenty minutes, covered with a damp cloth.

Then either divide the dough into four portions and roll and slice as in my great grandmother's recipe above, or follow the directions for your pasta maker. Keep the damp towel over any dough you're not working with. I used the 1/4 cutter on the machine, and made the noodles quite thin. You can lay them on a towel to dry, wrap them loosely around your hand a few at a time to make little pasta "nests," or use a pasta drying rack. I found this rack at a garage sale for 99 cents.

Of course, there are plenty of good alternatives to making your own pasta. Most grocery stores have a wide selection. Some farmer's markets sell Pappardelle's, which comes in all sorts of flavors and shapes. Whatever you choose, consider tossing with a delectable

Alfredo Sauce
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (or more)
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
In a heavy saucepan bring cream and butter just to a boil, stirring frequently. Add the Parmesan and white pepper, and stir until cheese is melted. Toss with cooked pasta -- this is a good amount for about 8 ounces of dried pasta.

If you make additions to the dish -- cooked bay scallops, shrimp, or chicken, or maybe some lightly sauteed veggies, you'll want to increase the sauce recipe. Go ahead and double it, as it freezes really well. The sauce is also good dribbled on steamed broccoli and/or cauliflower.


  1. The sauce I might could make, but not the noodles. They both look great though. BTW, I have an award for you on my blog. Have a great weekend.

    Thoughts in Progress

  2. Thanks for the Lovely Blog Award, Mason! So kind of you to pass it along from your own Lovely Blog. Thoughts in Progress is terrific.

    And a great weekend back atcha.

  3. I've always been SO impressed when someone can make their own pasta! That's just amazing. And, honestly, you've made it look so much easier than I thought it would be. And that Alfredo sauce? MMM!

    Are you on the schedule to blog at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen (my other blog?) I don't have my calendar in front of me, but you need to be, if you're not!

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  4. The best thing about these noodles is they stay retain their texture even in soup. Must be the eggs.

    I'm guesting at Mystery Lover's Kitchen on June 27 -- you'll be the first stop on my somewhat loose blog tour for Something Borrowed, Something Bleu, out July 1. So expect something about cheese!

  5. Cricket,

    I checked out your website and your books look amazing. I loved your book trailer for Lye in Wait. So glad you stopped by my blog so I could follow you here!

    In addition, I will pass on your blog address to my sister who loves all the crafty things you do.

    Now, I must rustle of something for dinner as your pasta made me very hungry!

  6. Welcome catwoods! So glad we connected -- and over coffee ground soap, no less. ; - )

  7. I remember my grandmother's homemade noodles -- chewy and delicious. She stewed a chicken and used the meat and broth to make the best chicken and noodles ever. Oh, yum.

  8. That's exactly how my grandmother did it. Now I'm craving some.