My grandson, Austin, tackled homemade noodles this week. The inspiration was two-fold. I showed him a recipe for chicken noodle soup, that I’ve been making for years. But it calls for frozen noodles (no substitutes). I didn’t have anything, but dried noodles, so I started to put the recipe aside for another day. (We don’t run to the store for a single ingredient like we used to.)
But Austin was not to be deterred. “No problem,” he said, “I can make noodles.”
“Really! I have Robin’s pasta maker around here somewhere, if you want to use it.”
“I’d prefer to make the noodles by hand the way Samin Nosrat does,” he said, referring to the cookbook author, whose Netflix documentary Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat featured Samin and a Sicilian cook making pasta from scratch.
“Great!” I said excitedly. “We can be a team. You make the noodles and I’ll make the soup.”
An Old Recipe from An Old Book
I pulled out my cookbook, Christmas at the Mansion, where I had featured the wonderful soup. I had originally found the recipe in one of those spiral-bound cook books, that church women sold back in the 60s and 70s. My friend, who sold me the book, bragged on the chicken soup, though it scared me off when I first read it. The recipe, with its 16 ingredients, filled an entire page! But, at least, it didn’t call for a live chicken.
I bought the book for $4.25 and made a pot of soup. Though it didn’t require live poultry, it did call for frozen noodles—an absolute requirement! Such a delicacy was hard to find in a small, Ozark town back then; I had to go to three stores. I found the Beau Monde seasoning in St. Louis.
To get in the spirit of making noodles from scratch, we again watched Samin Nosrat’s documentary. Inspired by this charming cook, we commenced chopping vegetables and flinging flour about the kitchen. Here how it went . . . .
Rolling in the Dough