Entradas populares

Friday, August 1, 2014


Homemake Noodles Using a Pasta Machine
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Hisp Ar fidaush, Hisp Ar & Val fideuá, L. filum (string), Ar fidauš (to swell by boiling), Eng. noodles. There is a distinction between pasta and noodles. Noodles can be made with any kind of flour such as rice or wheat and they can be soft or hard while pasta is made with durum wheat only (see trigo duro).

It is said that pasta came to Europe via Marco Polo. In 1200, prior to the conquest of James I, Valencians were eating fidaw, a noodle made with durum wheat. Italians cannot believe this but it certainly indicates that the Arabs or even the Romans could have introduced pasta to Spain, not Marco Polo who returned from China in 1295.

As a matter of fact evidence in Italian caves suggests the Etruscans could have been making pasta as early as 400 B.C. The first known recipe for pasta calls for small orzo, a rice shaped pasta. This fact leads etymologists to believe that the Spanish word for noodles stems from the Arabic and not the Latin. Further, the “f” in Latin would have become and “h” in Spanish as seen in the word thread, hilo in Spanish.

The Arabs, during the Middle Ages, used various types of noodles in cookery such as lākhshīdan (Pers. to slide’ a little, like a slippery noodle). Lākhshīdan seems to have been a small flat noodle, which could be twisted.

It is known that the Persians introduced the grind stone to China probably during the Han dynasty 206 BC-AD 220. As a result it is speculated that around the 3rd C BC the Chinese were making noodles thanks to Persian recipes. Rāshtā (Pers ‘thread’) existed from the middle of the 13th C. It is a fresh medium width noodle, still used in Syria and Lebanon. It has the same uses as spaghetti although it is not exactly the same as spaghetti is dry.

Fadalat Noodles Shaped like Chickpeas
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Tuţmāj was in existence by 500 A.D. and known to the Arabs by the 8th C. This is a fresh noodle but thicker and sturdier than rāshtā and for this it is used to make shushbarak (pasta stuffed with minced meat). Rishtā is boiled in broth.

The Anón Al-Andalus explains three types of noodles. The first is shaped like wheat grains, the second is called bijaya (from the area around Bougie the land of the Kabyle Berbers). It is round like coriander seed and the third called humais is like small chickpeas. The latter, probably a forerunner of vermicelli, is made in thin paper-like stripes. Anón Al-Andalus calls it a qaţā’if (kataiaf), which Perry defines as a pancake. It is cooked with gourds, spices and fat. The manuscript calls it ‘women’s food.’ Today it is thought of as a pastry. Further, the recipe states that noodles should be cooked like marcaroni (see macarrones).

Fadālat, another 13th C. Hispano-Arab cookery manuscript, describes muhammaş (literally ‘made into chickpeas’), which are practically the same as hmīş or humais. Şalma (orcchiette pasta or a relative thereof) is a coin-shaped Turkish soup noodle. .

Avenzoar states noodles are harmful for they generate heavy, immature obstructions in the heart, liver and other internal body organs; they soften the abdomen and nourished the intestine. If eaten with honey that does not counteract the harmful effects produced, but on the contrary it augments them. If eaten with fat that is worse. See alcuzcuz, pan and sémola. [Anon/Arberry. 2001:53:54; Anón/Huici. 1996: 367:201-202:377:207:378:207-208; Corominas. Cast. 1980: II:CE: 886-888; ES: Anon/Perry. Sep 5 02:ftn 151; Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:98; Ibn Razīn/Granja. 1960:88:23-24; Ibn Razīn/Marín. 2007:7:134-135; Perry. “Couscous.” 2001:237:238; Perry. “Description.” 2001:334:335:337; Perry. “Kitāb.” 2001:470:471:472:473; and Perry. “Notes.” 2001:253-258; Perry “What” 222-223]


Chickpea Shaped Noodles Floating - Al Diente!
Photo by: Lord-Williams


4 c semolina flour
4 eggs
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp dry yeast
½ c water
½ tsp salt

For cooking the meat[1]:

1 lb chopped meat (beef, lamb or chicken)
¼ c olive oil
1 pinch of salt
½ tsp white pepper
½ onion chopped
1 tbsp cilantro chopped

For cooking the noodles:

½ onion chopped
1 tbsp cilantro chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
a pinch of salt


1 c cheese
1 tbsp cilantro

Different Noodles for Pasta Lovers
Photo by: Lord-Williams

Mix all the ingredients. Knead well and put it in a plastic bag. Let sit ½ hour.  Roll the dough out on a clean surface. Cut it into pieces about 3/8” thick. Roll it out then fold it in half and roll it out again. Do this several times until the dough is smooth and pliable. Put it in plastic bag and put this in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. If a pasta cutter is available set it to cut noodles, otherwise round it by hand, in a trough, to look like peppercorns or small chickpeas[3]. Dry them in sun for one hour. Then refrigerate or freeze. When ready to cook prepare meat separately with oil, salt, pepper, cilantro and chopped onions. Heat this and when cooked place it in a tagine and cover it to keep it warm. Then take enough pasta for 4 persons. Cook in boiling water with oil, pepper, cilantro and chopped onion. Stir until the pasta begins to absorb the water and float.  Remove from heat and strain. Add the noodles to the meat and cook for a few minutes while mixing all together. Cut cheese into small pieces[4] and add it to the pasta and meat. Serve it and eat it if God so wills it.

[1] The meat is prepared according to instructions in the previous recipe la Granja’s #88 Preparación y guiso de los fideos published in blog titled Cocina, published April 1, 2013.
[2] The Medieval Spanish Chef’s addition.
[3] This recipe says to make them like peppercorns while in Marín’s translation Recipe #7, p 102 says to make them like chickpeas. The latter shape was chosen as it is not as tedious.
[4] Today it would be grated but not yet in 13th century Spain.

No comments:

Post a Comment