Thursday, August 17, 2017

Hand-Rolled {Gluten-Free} Noodles On the Noodle Road #FoodieReads



This is going to be a much more productive month for my Foodie Reads Challenge. Earlier this month I was unpacking (yes, we have been in this house for a year!) and uncovered a box of foodie reads that I have yet to read. Sweet! I happily dove into this one and finished it last week.



Today, I'm sharing thoughts about On the Noodle Road: From Beijing to Rome, with Love and Pasta by Jen Lin-Liu*Lin-Liu is a Chinese-American journalist and owner/chef at Black Sesame Kitchen, her restaurant and cooking school in Beijing. This is part odyssey, part travelogue, part documentary and commentary on the state of the female condition as individuals and wives, and part cookbook in a tiny way. She does include several recipes per region that she's visited in the narrative.

On the Page
On the Noodle Road is Lin-Liu's attempt to unearth the answer to the question: Did Marco Polo really bring noodles from China to Italy? And, if not, from where did they really come?

To do so, she sets off on an overland route of the Silk Road, traveling from China to Italy via the western territories, Iran, Turkey, and Greece. And while it's a search for the truth of the noodle's origin, it's just as much a quest for her own identity.

Along her journey, Lin-Liu eats, cooks, eats, and cooks some more. Meals are her currency. As she travels, she swaps Chinese meals for Uighur, Central Asian, Persian, and Turkish cooking lessons.

Readers who anticipate following Lin-Liu's quest in one continuous strand will be disappointed. She traverses rice country - China and Iran - and explores bread country - everywhere else really - and finds noodles are not primary in any of the areas she visits. So, after nearly seven thousand miles, she still doesn't have an answer. Whoops. That's a spoiler. Sorry.

On the Noodle Road ends up being many things, including a search to carve out her place in the world, to define - or at least - embrace being a wife and a mother. As she ends her journey, she discovers that she's pregnant with her first child. Okay...another spoiler.

While I enjoyed the book, it definitely didn't answer the question Lin-Liu posed.

On the Plate

We make a lot of noodles, including: Gluten-Free RombiHand-Rolled, Hand-Cut Spinach Papardelle; and Maltagliati . So, I had the Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf hand-roll some gluten-free noodles for me.

Ingredients
  • 2 C all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • water


Procedure
Place all of the dry ingredients in the body of the food processor. Add the eggs. Pulse. Add in 1 T water at a time until it comes together in a ball. Turn the dough onto a floured cutting board and knead until smooth and elastic, approximately 5 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic and let rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.

To roll: Slice your dough ball into quarters. Cover the portions you aren't rolling. Turn the rested dough out onto a lightly dusted board and roll out as thinly as you can. I found that rolling it into a long rectangle make the most even strips. If you don't have a rolling pin, a wine bottle works well! 

Once the pasta dough is as thin as you can get it, starting at one (short) end of the rectangle, roll the dough into a cylinder.

  
With a sharp knife, hand cut the roll into pieces whose width is the width you want for your pasta. I went about the width of linguine. Carefully unroll the strips and you're all set.


You can hang them to dry a little bit before cooking. We usually just hang them to get them off the counter. 


Cook in salted, boiling water. Because they are fresh, they cook fairly quickly. As soon as they float, they are ready. Drain and use with your favorite sauce.

*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.



Here's what everyone else read in August 2017: here.

2 comments:

  1. It is the carefully unrolling that causes me problems. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was surprised that she never found an answer. I would think you'd change the overall question of the book a bit when you realized it was unanswerable.

    ReplyDelete

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