All-purpose flour, eggs, and a little bit of olive oil have been getting me through quarantine.

By Maria Yagoda
May 11, 2020
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Nearing two months of stay-at-home orders, I have grown deeply weary of my own cooking. To break up some of the monotony, I've been getting takeout from my favorite restaurants and ordering deliveries of incredible ingredients to cook with, from high-quality seafood to giant boxes of artisanal bread. But a recent discovery has completely transformed my quarantine cooking game into something I truly enjoy: homemade egg noodles.

Early on in the pandemic, I made the difficult decision that bread-baking wouldn't be my journey. I don't have the requisite patience or enthusiasm, though I've enjoyed watching my friends become master bakers. Noodles, however, are another story. When it finally sunk in that I'd be staying home for a long, long time, I ordered a pasta maker. New project! But when it arrived, it sat untouched in its box for weeks, and I felt even guiltier about not morphing into the sophisticated home cook that everyone on Instagram seemed to be.

Even without the complicated variables that turned me off bread-baking, making your own pasta is still somewhat intimidating. I've always had the sense that it requires very specific proportions and varieties of flours—many recipes do—and that if you make any tweaks or wrong moves, the whole thing will be a messy disaster. It also probably feels that way because a lot of the messaging about pasta comes from Italians, who can be very particular about the way things are done. (I say this out of a deep love and respect for my heritage.)

My fears were proven false. I'd long had my eye on Vicky Bennison's parsley egg noodle recipe for a while, and on one particularly melancholic night I decided that I would give it a go, even though I didn't have parsley or semolina flour. All I had was all-purpose flour, eggs, and olive oil. But instead of worrying about what I was missing, I finished my second glass of white wine and made it work.

Before I began, senior editor Mary-Frances Heck reassured me—and offered a suggestion. "Semolina helps with the slight 'cat's tongue' texture, but fresh noodles are delicious either way," she said. "I might cut them a tiny bit thinner, as thick noodles like pappardelle can soak up a bit more bench flour."

The noodles came out beautifully—perfectly tender, chewy, and delicate. I can't stop making them.

Get the recipe: Parsley Egg Noodles