Making Pasta

Hello Carb lovers! I found a Russian cook book. I am enamored with cooking ’round the globe, but one of the most fascinating types for me has always been Eastern European peasant food. I love the rugged textures of the noodles and dumplings, and how simple dishes with minimal seasonings can taste so good.

I made the basic noodle dough for pasta, as you can see in the first picture above. It came out very well, but note: it is a VERY dry dough to work with. I doughn’t (hee hee) mind a strong kneading, but OMG guys – if you have a pasta roller, I really recommend breaking it out for this recipe.

I don’t have a pasta roller, so I did it by hand. It was possible, but rather tiring. I only made half of the recipe (below) and my forearms were sore for days afterwards. I could barely type the next day (OH, THE HORROR!!!). I think I’ll need to find a roller, because this pasta is freaking good, and I want to eat it every day. Either that, or I will be easy to identify by my bulging forearm muscles. (New blog name: AlbanyHulkSMASH!)

Once the dough was as thin as I could roll it, I sliced it haphazardly into strips with a pizza cutter. I boiled the noodles in water for about 12 minutes, but times certainly will vary given the thickness. I just kept testing the noodles every 2-3 minutes after 8 minutes. The plumped up a bit, too.

The cooked noodles themselves were fabulous! It had a wonderfully chewy, thick texture and were tasty just covered in a bit of butter and sour cream. They retained their heat for a while without overcooking or going mushy. I can’t wait to sauce these with other toppings.

Half of the recipe fed 3 people (as a side) very well. Plenty of food for 3rds. I also attempted to roast a whole chicken, but that didn’t go over so well (let’s just say bits and pieces had to go back in the oven and I am leaving whole chicken to Albany John’s domain).

AAannnddd – pierogies! My favorite. I had to try the dough out as pierogie dough.

The tweaked the dough a little so it would be a hair more tender, but still have springiness and chew. I made 2/3 of the recipe below (modified for dumpling dough) and this fed 3 people as a meal.

The filling was:
Diced Onions sauteed in bacon fat (mmmmm)
1 gigantic (or 2 large) Potato, cooked and peeled
3-4 T cottage cheese
(You could also toss some butter in there too. Wouldn’t hurt)

I added them all to a bowl and mixed until the potato was smooth and everything was well incorporated.

Pinch off pieces of dough, then roll it out into a circle and fill the center. Fold one side over the other and seal closed. Once you’ve made them all, plop them into boiling water (I had to do them in a few batches – there were a lot) and once they rise to the surface, they should be done. Give one a test if you’re not so sure. I was kind of surprised at how quickly these cooked – I made them thicker than the noodles and they were done in a fraction of the time, it seemed.

These were… a lot of dumplings. Thankfully my brother was also over when I made these montrously sized pierogies, so he helped us polish them off. We ate them with saurkraut, sour cream, and copious amounts of salt (wait, that was just me).

How’d they taste? A deliciously chewy dough and a pleasantly mushy-soft interior. As they got colder, they got tougher. I enjoyed that extreme chewiness as well (marketers: make pasta flavored bubble gum). Just eating pierogies makes me feel warm and fuzzy – I still haven’t really tried other non-potato based variations because the potato filling is always a winner with me.

My only regret? That we were out of bacon/sausage, and that I completely forgot about the Bacon Salt sitting in the cabinet.

Noodle Dough

3 C flour
3 egg yolks
2/3 C cold water

Add egg whites and 3 T sour cream for dumpling dough, or springier/chewier noodles

Mix all together and knead for several minutes until dough feels springy.

Cover and rest 30 minutes. Roll out and use.

(This is a pretty easy recipe to increase or decrease since everything is kind of in a 1 unit: 1 unit ratio)

  1. maybe someday i’ll be confident enough in my culinary skill so attempt to make pasta. this post reminds of my mama. as a treat she used to make home made spaghetti.yum yum pierogi. SexyBeast rolls his eyes everytime I try to say that word. I’ve taken to calling them “Polish ravoli”

  2. pierogies!! love them but haven’t gotten aroudn to making my own yet. I’ve been really into homemade pasta lately and I really need to get a roller… when I do I’ll try this recipe for sure!

  3. I love pierogies! I’m scared as heck to make them, but one of these days… I swear.

  4. Grace said:

    chewy and mushy-soft, eh? note to self: do attempt to make pasta and/or dumplings at some point in life. 🙂

  5. phairhead – Make em! Half the fun is in the name, but Polish Ravioli is cute too!lk – woo hoo! Yay!Lilimonster – overcome the fear! You will be rewarded (it’s also really hard to screw them up)Grace – ah, texture sisters that we are!

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