Oodles of Noodles

Jane Wilt Whitworth

March is National Noodle Month

    Did you know that March is National Noodle Month? Until I started wandering the internet in search of ideas for this issue of Bridges, I had no idea. Now, not only do I know that March is National Noodle Month, I have learned that October is National Pasta Month, which may prove to be useful knowledge one of these days.
    In my enlightening browsing, I also learned that egg noodles have to contain at least 5.5 percent egg or they aren’t noodles. Who knew?!
    I considered including a recipe to make egg noodles from scratch, but those are all essentially the same and I don’t have any interesting ways to make them easier, so I worked on ways to utilize egg noodles across a menu instead. A soup, a salad, a main dish, and a dessert… I don’t recommend you serve them all in one meal, unless you are into serious carb-loading, but I do hope you’ll give them all a try!
    My soup offering is an Asian-inspired vegetable-based soup. The noodles are cooked separately, and tossed with toasted sesame oil, to be added to each bowl of soup. If they are cooked in the soup, they will absorb lots of liquid, becoming too soft, along with depleting the brothiness of your soup.
    The salad recipe is an updated version of one I came up with years ago. Wide noodles cooked, then lots of vegetables and bacon added, and finally dressed with ranch dressing. Yum!
    Noodles tossed with bacon and caramelized onions, along with cheese stirred in, make a delicious “comfort food” main dish. I can eat it on a regular basis and be
quite happy!
    Noodles as dessert seem to surprise most people. Noodle Kugels have been part of Jewish cuisine for centuries, first appearing in Germany some 800 years ago. Both savory and sweet versions exist. They are essentially noodles baked in a flavored and/or sweetened custard. I use brown sugar to add caramelly notes to the custard in mine, and then top it with fruit preserves to serve.
    Use your noodle, and give these noodle recipes a taste. Let us know what you think!