I remember two of my great grandmothers. The other two died before I was born. My maternal great grandmother passed away when I was 3 years old. My only memory of her is playing ‘peekaboo’ while she was sitting in a big arm chair that her husband got with other furniture from wealthy aristocrats who emigrated to Switzerland due to the communist regime after WWII. My mom told me that my great grandmother was an excellent cook and she made everything, mamash, everything from scratch. So why not pasta? We used to have a cook book that she wrote and I remember using it many years ago as well as a beautiful white cooking apron but it seems it got lost since we can’t find it any more. B”H few recipes I remember, and this is one of them.
I have to admit it was my idea to add celery leafs to the dough. I just did not know what else to do with them and I didn’t want to waste them. I saw one recipe for noodles that are kosher for Passover and there were parsley leaves inside. So why not celery leaves?
There is a simple rule for making pasta. For one large egg use 4 tbs flour. The best is kemach l’pasta or any other type of flour that is more coarse as opposed to delicate flour that we use for cakes etc.
I made the pasta from 4 eggs, so I used in addition leaves from one package of celery. I recommend to wash and check the leaves in advance so you have enough time in advance to have the leaves dry, as they can’t be wet while you use them for making the pasta.
Blend egg (eggs) (in blender) with the celery leaves, pour the mixture into a bowl and add flour. Make it into a thick non-sticky dough. Roll into a very thin layer – as thin as possible.
Transfer each sheet on a cookie pan, parchment paper, or even a kitchen towel, and let it dry at least 3 hours. My mother told me that my great grand mother was drying the sheets of pasta dough on her bed as it was very convenient to spread everything nicely beside each other. (yes, this is old-Europe.)
Once the sheets are dry – cut into noodles. If you are making soup noodles – make them short and thin, if you are making tagliatelle – make them longer and thicker. Cut with a sharp knife as it is much easier to fold a couple layers of noodle dough on top of each other while you are cutting.
Cook separately (even if it is for soup – never cook directly inside the soup! – the broth will not be clear any more) in a big pot with salted water and a table spoon of oil. Fresh pasta needs to be cooked only for about 5 minutes.
These noodles are yummy regardless how you serve them. My favorite is Alfredo sauce with extra smoked salmon and lots of Parmesan cheese. If you want to be “ultra Czech” you can use a mixture of crushed poppy seeds with sugar and melted butter on the top of bowl with home made pasta (my mother’ s favorite). Today I served the pasta with meat balls with tomato cranberry sauce and it was great (recipe http://israelnewstalkradio.
com/meat-balls-that-even-your- kids-can-make-and-will-eat/ )
Enjoy and Bete’avon (Good appetite! -in Hebrew).
Pearl Devreux is originally from Czechoslovakia, and has lived all over Europe and now resides in Israel. She loves to cook and dabble in other domestic areas. Pearl is a minimalist, she cooks with what she has -like so many of us do, and she makes it ‘real’. She remembers recipes from her European days and learns new ones here in Israel and shares her life, and food, with our Israel News Talk Radio listeners and readers!