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I'd like to use fresh homemade pasta tonight in place of bagged egg noodles. My question is, should I prep the noodles in boiling water in anyway, or should I skip that step and add the freshly made noodles where the recipe calls for it?

here is the recipe:

1 lb ground beef
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
8 oz tomato sauce
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup sour cream
8 oz egg noodles

Brown and drain ground beef. Add beef back to the pan over low heat and stir in minced garlic, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and tomato sauce. Simmer for 5 minute and remove from heat. Meanwhile, boil egg noodles for 2 minutes less than the lowest time on the package directions. (They WILL continue cooking in the oven. No one likes an overcooked noodle!) Drain noodles and combine them with the cottage cheese and sour cream.

Spray a 9x9 baking dish with cooking spray and put the noodle mixture in the bottom. Top with reserved meat sauce. Cover with cheese and bake for 20 minutes or until bubble and cheese is melted. You can broil the top for a minute or 2 if you want the cheese to brown. Remove from oven and serve!

  • 1
    If prepared like the recipe, your homemade noodles will likely be mush by the time the dish is cooked. Dried pasta is specially formulated (and the drying is the most important part) to cope with this sort of cooking. Fresh pasta is generally meant to be cooked for less than 2 minutes. There is no reason you couldn't prepare the sauce without the noodles and spoon it over, though. – Mr. Mascaro Jan 27 '15 at 23:21
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Personally I'd suggest blanching your pasta. By blanching:

I mean get a big pan of heavily salted water on a rolling boil.

Drop your pasta into the water, give it a stir.

After 1 min or when the water has come back to boil drain the pasta off.

At this point your pasta will still be el' dante but not raw which is what I suspect the directions are suggesting when they say "2 min less than instructed" then just use it at the mixing with sour cream step.

If you were to just use the pasta freshly made it will likely not have the texture desired. Boiling it will help moisten it up and start to cook the flour.

  • Cooking fresh pasta for 2 min may already be well past the '2 min less than instructed' – Joe Jan 28 '15 at 0:57
  • I think my thumb hit the wrong digit on my phone. Changed that to 1. – Doug Jan 28 '15 at 0:59
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I've made lasagna several times with homemade egg pasta. The pasta cooks in the steam generated by the ingredients you're baking and there is no need to blanch, parcook or do anything to the homemade pasta before using it in your recipe.

The noodles can be quite fragile and moving them around once they are cooked can easily tear them or stretch them out to breaking thinness.

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As fresh pasta typically only requires a minute or two to cook, I'd be inclined to do one of the following:

  1. Only shock the pasta in water. (dip in, immediately remove and mix in with the sauce)

  2. Cook the pasta in the sauce on the stovetop to soften it (maybe 30sec to a minute?), then place it into the casserole dish, then stir in the dairy products.

If you're dealing with smallish tubes (ziti, penne), I'd be more likely to go with #1, or thin the sauce slightly so that you can make sure that it will seep inside. For all other cases, I'd go with #2.

You may still want to thin the sauce slightly for #2. Maybe 1/4c to 1/2c of water before you bring it up to a simmer. You can also reserve some of the tomato/meat sauce before thinning it & adding the pasta if you want to make sure that's top most on the casserole.

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