Even if you can't tell linguine from lasagna, you can still make great homemade noodles.
Here are a few fun noodle facts that won’t strain your brain. Noodles are a thin elongated food made from unleavened dough. They’re made from flour, egg, oil or butter, and liquid—such as water or milk. You boil noodles, like spaghetti noodles, in water or broth to make them tender before eating. Some casseroles, such as lasagna, let you skip the boiling of the noodles by incorporating enough liquid into the casserole to make the noodles tender.
What's in a Noodle?
Here are some common types of noodles.
- Spaghetti - Long thin, rounded stands of pasta noodles.
- Capelli d'Angelo (Angel Hair) - Very thin spaghetti. It only takes a minute or two to cook.
- Fusilli - Twisted thin strands of noodles that are hollow in the middle.
- Fettuccine - Long like spaghetti, about 10" long, but a broad 1/4" wide instead of narrow like spaghetti.
- Lasagna - Very wide ribbons about 2"-3" wide and 12" long.
- Linguine - 1/8" wide and 10" long. It looks like flattened spaghetti.
- Tagliatelle - Short thick noodles, called "egg noodles" that are slightly twisted.
Shortcuts for Making Noodles at Home
After you’ve rolled out the dough to the thickness you prefer, roll the dough into a log, like a jellyroll. Cut through the entire thickness of the log. This makes cutting the noodles much quicker and easier, as you are cutting through several layers of noodles at once.
If you prefer, you can use your breadmaker on the pasta setting or your electric mixer with the dough blade attachment to mix and knead the dough.
Pasta makers, which can be purchased at many discount stores, make noodles unbelievably quick and easy. They have chambers for measuring the dry ingredients and liquids and a built-in mixing blade. They also have a crank shaft that feeds the noodles though a die, making them the exact shape you prefer. A dough blade is used to cut the noodles as they are extracted from the pasta maker. These machines literally do all the work for you. All you need to do is add the ingredients, turn it on, and cut the noodles as they come out.
If you think making homemade noodles is complicated, think again. Noodles are quick and easy to make at home and much tastier than store-bought.
What’s your favorite noodle to make?