Back to Basics – Buttered Noodles
We’ve all got that one recipe that is pure nostalgia, and for me, this is it. In our getting back to basics series, I can think of no better way to showcase the cooking technique of boiling than with buttered noodles. So, let’s get into it, and we’ll break it down after.
Buttered Noodles Ingredients:
- 2 C. Flour
- (2) Whole Eggs
- (2) Egg Yolks
- 1 Tsp. Olive Oil
- 1-2 Tbsp. Water
For the Noodles:
Sift the flour into a large bowl or on to a clean wooden cutting board and make a well in the center. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, yolks, 1 tbsp. water, and oil then add to center of your flour well. Stir the egg mixture in the center of the well and let the wet mixture pull in flour gradually. Stir until a dough forms, then knead for 5 minutes. If the dough is dry, add the second tbsp. of water.
After kneading, wrap with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rest on the counter for 2 hours or in the refrigerator overnight. Cut the dough into 4 pieces and work with one piece at a time, keeping the rest of the dough wrapped tightly. Press the dough out with your fingers until it is roughly ¼ inch thick. Using a pasta roller on the largest setting, pass the dough through the rollers, then fold into thirds, turn 90 degrees and pass through the rollers again. Repeat this process 3 times total.
Run the pasta sheet on the next lowest setting two times. Lower one step and run through once. Keep lowering by one notch until the pasta reaches your desired thickness. I did not go all the way to the smallest setting on mine, I stopped at the 2nd lowest to keep a bit more body and structure. Allow to dry for roughly 10 minutes and cut the long sheet(s) into your desired length, then run through a pasta cutting attachment or roll up and cut by hand to your desired thickness.
- 100G. Cut Fresh Pasta
- 900G. Water
- 10G. Kosher Salt
- 45G. Butter
- 10G. Pasta Water
- 1G. Salt
Combine 10g of salt with water and bring to a rolling boil. Add fresh pasta and boil for 1:30 minutes. While the pasta cooks, slice the butter into small chunks. Remove pasta from water using a pasta server or slotted spoon and place in a bowl with butter, 10 g of pasta water, and salt and stir until all the butter is melted. Plate and serve.
Buttered Noodles Recipe Recap
While I fully realize many people who are looking to eat buttered noodles will not take the time to make their own pasta, this is the absolute best way to make this recipe. The added starch you get from the excess flour of the fresh pasta makes the “sauce” richer, and smoother. Fresh pasta is far superior if you’ve got the time, equipment, and initiative to make it. The following recipe uses dried store-bought pasta and I believe it will satisfy any buttered pasta cravings.
Alternative Buttered Noodles
- 150G. Dried Pasta
- 900G. Water
- 10G. Salt
- 50G. Butter
- 20G. Pasta water
- 1G. Salt
Buttered Noodles Method:
Bring water and 10g salt to a boil, add dried pasta and cook to the longer end of the range on the box. Most pastas will say for example 10 to 12 minutes, cook for 12 minutes.
Cut the butter into small cubes and add to a bowl. Once the pasta is cooked, remove 20g of pasta water from the pot and add to the bowl with the butter. Drain remaining pasta and add to bowl along with salt. Stir constantly until all butter is melted and the pasta water and butter emulsify into a sauce. Plate and serve.
When I was researching this recipe and seeing what was currently online, I found a lot of vague recipes of just adding butter to cooked noodles. While this obviously works, I wanted to do something different. I wanted exact, specific instructions on how I personally make the best buttered noodles I could.
The water to pasta ratio directly contributes to the amount of starch in the pasta water and in turn affects the “sauce” that the butter and pasta water make. I also wanted everything in grams so there was no discrepancy in the sizes of tablespoon measurers.
There are many ways to change this dish to your tastes. Buttered noodles feels like the quintessential “back to basics” recipe to me. The most popular addition to this recipe is obviously parmesan cheese. If you go through the trouble to make your own pasta for this dish, please, please buy a nice parmesan. Don’t use the kraft green topped shaker that everyone has had in their kitchen for a year. A few of my favorite variations include sauteed mushrooms, a dash of heavy cream, and herbs like thyme and parsley.
Boiling As a Technique
Boiling is one of the first cooking techniques used by humans. It is as basic as basic gets. It is simply putting water or liquid on the stove (or over an open flame) and allowing it to heat to its full capacity. This technique is normally used for foods that can stand the agitation of hundreds of large bubbles pushing it around like pasta, while more delicate foods like poached eggs have the heat turned down to avoid the rough turbulence.
I’m sure there will be a few eyebrows raised when people see a recipe for buttered noodles on our page. However, everyone I’ve spoken to has the same nostalgic feeling towards this dish as I do. It’s fast, it’s easy, it’s delicious, it’s filling, it is literally everything anyone could want from a recipe.
The ingredients are ones that most people have on hand at any given time. The ease of this recipe, the availability of the ingredients, and the nostalgic connection seem to me like the perfect combination of reasons to try to perfect this recipe for the people who read my page.