Easy Nokedli Pasta

8

This is such a simple recipe; it is incredibly satisfying to make your own pasta at home without any fuss. Plus, it’s really fun and enjoyable to create from scratch, so a good recipe to get the family involved in.

VEGETARIAN

Here's how you do it

1.       Firstly, read through these next steps to make sure you have all the equipment you need.

2.       Welcome back. Now, pop your largest pan on the hob, half filled with water, a pinch of salt and drop of olive oil and allow to boil.

3.       Whilst waiting, place your flour in a bowl and crack your eggs on top, shake your salt over the top of the eggs and add your water.

4.       Now, mix, mix, mix. You want a gloopy consistency. Is that a technical term? Why not. The dough needs to drip off the back of the spoon satisfyingly slowly.

5.       To make life easy, you will need a nokedli making contraption, which safely rests on the top of the pan and allows you to ‘grate’ the dough into the small pasta/noodle pieces. If using this, read on, if not, skip to Step 10.

6.       Once the pan is boiling, knock the heat down to medium and simply ladle your dough into the basket of the nokedli grater and move it backwards and forwards until it has all fallen through. It will drip through the holes creating small noodles.

7.       Gently stir through to separate the chunks.

8.       Allow to cook for a minute and when all the pasta has floated to the top, remove from the heat and drain.

9.       Add a generous glug of olive oil and stir it in to keep the pasta from sticking. Congratulations, you just made pasta from scratch! Now add you sauce or store for later.

For those using the old colander trick:

10.   If you do not have the nokedli grater, you can use a metal colander and a wooden spoon. Unless you have a marvellously large colander that perfectly fits on your pan, you will need somebody sensible to hold the colander above the pan of boiling water.

11.   Next ladle in your dough mix, one spoonful at a time, and using a wooden spoon, push the mixture through the holes into the pan, it will drip through the holes creating small noodles.

12.   Gently stir through to separate the chunks.

13.   Allow to cook for a minute and when all the pasta has floated to the top, remove from the heat and drain.

14.   Add a generous glug of olive oil and stir it in to keep the pasta from sticking. Congratulations, you just made pasta from scratch! Now add you sauce or store for later.

Traditionally, nokedli is a Hungarian egg noodle, however it is incredibly versatile and uses the same basis as a typical homemade pasta, which is how we tend to use it. My very good friend Esther, taught me this recipe, which was a staple in her home, growing up in the 1950s, back in a time when mass produced, heavily processed food was not as common as you might find today. It struck a chord with me that the generations after us may never have the need to know a basic pasta recipe, and quite frankly, that makes me sad. So, get the kids involved, let them see how easy it is to create delicious cuisine from scratch, and hopefully they may pass their knowledge on to their own one day.

Above, I mention using the nokedli grater. If you intend to make nokedli a regular meal in your home (do it – you won’t be sorry!), then I can highly recommend investing in one of these here. This odd-looking contraption doesn’t cost the earth, doesn’t take up much room in the cupboard, is made of steel and not plastic, and is hard wearing for use time after time. Be sure to wash it immediately afterwards so that it does not dry and stick, or rinse and chuck it in the dishwasher.

Using ‘00’ grade flour really is worth doing as this type of flour is wonderfully fine, perfect for pasta. However, you can sub for plain flour, the texture will simply be a little more stodgy and heavier, but barely noticeable unless you are looking for it.

This really is one of my favourite dishes, it yields enough for two meals, therefore you can freeze the other half as it also freezes well. We use this as a simple pasta, so you can add your usual pasta sauce to it. Or try our Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Sauce recipe or our White Wine and Cheese Pasta Sauce or even the very moreish Creamy Tomato Pasta Sauce, all using fresh seasonal ingredients.

This is also a crowd pleaser, which you can make the day before and simply heat up to feed a large group. I’m hoping my enthusiasm for this recipe is evident, because it is so simple and such fun to make, definitely give it a go. And Esther - thank you for introducing me to nokedli, let’s hope a few others join the revolution here.

Ingredients

  • 500g ‘00’ grade flour (or plain flour)
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 200ml water
  • Extra virgin olive oil and pinch of salt

What’s in this recipe