Making your own ribbon noodles at home isn’t difficult at all. It takes a little effort but can be accomplished in less than an hour. I already showed you previously how to make semolina soup noodles from scratch.
These ribbon noodles look similar but serve a different purpose. They are made with 100 % semolina flour and contain eggs. They are best suited as a side dish for roasts and stews or simply sauced the Italian way.
I intentionally didn’t call them tagliatelle pasta as the Italians would do. I think that people nowadays give way too much credit to Italians for all kinds of noodle and pasta dishes. It’s true that they invented a lot of simple dishes that are just pasta + sauce. However, noodles are eaten all over the world and I’m sure that every culture knows how to prepare them.
It’s not even the semolina flour that makes noodles Italian. Semolina flour is a widespread ingredient across all of Europe. It’s used for example to make semolina dumplings or semolina porridge.
The Building Blocks of German Cusine Series
This article is part of my basics series, which will introduce you to key ingredients and preparation methods. You can find all these articles in the ‘Basics’ category of this blog. Listed below are the articles that have yet been published in this series:
- Swabian Soup Noodles (‘Schwäbische Suppennudeln’)
- French Fries (‘Pommes frites’)
- Swabian Pretzels (‘Schwäbische Laugenbrezeln’)
- Kratzete, Eierhaber
- Duchess Potatoes (‘Herzoginnenkartoffeln’)
- Ribbon Noodles (‘Bandnudeln’)
- Muesli (‘Müsli’)
- German Bread Rolls (‘Weizenbrötchen’)
- Potato Puree (‘Kartoffelbrei’)
- German Potato Dumplings Bavaria-style (‘Bayerische Kartoffelknödel’)
- German Potato Dumplings Thuringia-style (‘Thüringer Kartoffelklöse’)
- German Bread Dumplings (‘Semmelknödel’)
- German Potato Pancakes (‘Reibekuchen’)
- Potato Noodles (‘Schupfnudeln’)
- German Boiled Potatoes (‘Kartoffeln’)
- Homemade Beef broth (‘Fleischbrühe’)
- German Pancakes (‘Pfannkuchen’)
- Homemade Semolina Soup Noodles (‘Hartweizen-Suppennudeln’)
- Chicken Broth (‘Hühnerbrühe’)
- Spaetzle (‘Spätzle’)
How Germans like to eat their noodles
It’s nevertheless interesting to notice that noodles are enjoyed differently in Germany than they are in Italy. A lot of times they are served in soup. That is because Southern German cuisine is generally regarded as a “wet” cuisine. A Swabian meal is not complete without soup and a generous serving of sauce. The food should never be uncomfortably dry, or as a Swabian would say: “furztrocken” (literally: dry as a fart).
If they’re not eaten in soup, noodles are usually stir-fried or served plain to soak up the gravy of roasts or stews. It might sound contradictory at first to stir-fry noodles if you don’t want them to end up dry. However, if noodles are stir-fried they are usually served with a soup on the side to prevent the meal from being too dry.
I know that Italian people find it weird to see German people eat Italian-style pasta swimming in a pool of sauce. But I got to admit, that’s how I like pasta too. A lot of times Italians are really stingy when it comes to saucing their dishes and topping their pizzas. I don’t want to taste the flavor of the noodles or pizza bread. They are bland, dry, and just a medium to soak up the flavorful gravy.
How to prepare ribbon noodles
It’s totally worth to make fresh ribbon noodles at home. I might just have described plain noodles as tasting bland and dry but there’s still some flavor to them. It’s the flavor of the eggs. I always use high-quality organic eggs with dark orange yolks to give the noodles a beautiful golden color.
The German noodle dough (‘Nudelteig’) is the same as the Italian pasta dough. You add one egg per 100 grams of flour. I always prefer to give you American units because that’s where the great majority of my blog readers are from. But I think the rule of one egg per 100 grams is so much simpler to remember and so much easier to use for scaling the batch depending on how many noodles you would like to make.
The recipe lists the measurements in ounces as well but if you have access to a kitchen scale I would always recommend you follow my baking and noodle recipes by using the gram scale. It’s much better suited for scaling recipes.
However, you don’t need a kitchen scale to make great noodles. With some experience, you will be able to judge the dough consistency by feel. If I’m not cooking for this blog, I never measure the ingredients for pasta or spaetzle dough. I just eyeball it and adjust by feel how much more water or flour the dough needs.
A pasta machine is the best tool to make ribbon noodles
I use a pasta machine to roll out the dough. You could, of course, do it by hand with a rolling pin. But if you’re regularly making noodles and dumplings at home it’s really a no-brainer to pick up a pasta machine. A simple one will cost you about $10 and work just fine. You don’t need need to get any fancy device. I have a cheap no-name product that has never failed me.
I prefer to cut my noodles by hand to make them as wide as I feel like that day. Pasta machines usually come with an attachment for cutting the noodles. You can use that one as well. It’s up to you how long and thick you prefer your noodles to be.
It’s hard to mess up when using a pasta machine. The most important things you should consider when making pasta are that:
- You must leave the dough to rest after kneading for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out.
- You must always generously flour your working surface.
- The dough will swell and get thicker when you boil it in water. So always roll out the pasta sheets a little thinner than you like your noodles to be.