My grandmother Peppa had her own way of making pasta. Like a fingerprint, each Nonna had a unique pasta texture. I would not say that one was better than the other, just different. What I liked was its chewiness and that the noodles were almost springy to the bite.
When I moved to America I missed those familiar flavors and feelings. Then, one day, I came across a lean chicken soup recipe. It was delicious, and I though….this would taste really good with some dumpling-like noodles. Thick and chewy, more like pasta and non quite like the more traditional biscuits.
So I made pasta using the lean broth instead of water and adding the baking powder for extra thickness. Bingo!
I had the PERFECT storm of textures, bite and flavor.
I am sharing it with you, because one cannot have too many comfort food recipes!
The original recipe said to have about 200 cal a portion for the chicken soup. So, don’t feel guilty adding the noodles.
LEAN CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS
Time: 1 hour
1 T vegetable oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 C chopped carrots (I use baby carrots sliced in tiny rounds, so cute!)
1/2 C chopped celery
1 small potato diced
4 Cups of low sodium chicken stock plus extra for the noodles (see below)
4 or 5 sprigs of time and rosemary, in a bundle. (bouquet garni)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 T Worcestershire sauce
3 C of pulled cooked chicken meat (hellowww Costco rotisserie chicken leftover! Carcass and all )
For the NOODLES:
(I recommend doubling the recipe because they are truly delicious)
1 1/3 C All Purpose flour
1/2 t salt
1/4 t Baking powder
1 whole egg mixed with 2 t oil
Enough lukewarm low sodium stock to make a smooth soft dough. I used about 1/4 c.
In a 4 qt tall stockpot, heat the oil with the chopped garlic. When fragrant add the onion and sweat it, until soft and translucent. A few minutes. Add the carrots, and celery. Cook until they smell fragrant, and deglaze with the Worcestershire sauce. Alternatively you can use a dry white wine. Add the potato, the chicken, the bouquet garni and the stock. Bring to a simmer, taste for salt, and cover. Cook until the potatoes are tender, meanwhile prepare the noodles.
In a large bowl mix the Flour and salt with the baking powder.
Make a well in the center.
Mix the Egg and oil with about 2 T of the stock.
Pour it into the center of the flour crater, and mix it in. Add enough stock to obtain a cohesive mass, not too stick or dry.
Transfer the dough to a working surface and knead to smooth. Do NOT overmix or they become too tough.
Let it rest 10 minutes covered with a tea towel (I usually clean up the area during that time)
Divide the dough into 4 parts. Roll it out by hands or with a pasta machine. On a Marcato pasta machine I went to setting #4. (about 1/8″)
With a pizza cutter, divide the rolled out dough into strips, square of whatever shape you like. Set aside, repeat with remaining dough.
When you are finished, you can cook the noodles right away. dumping them into the simmering stock for 8 minutes or until the desired tenderness. I like mine al dente, so 6 minutes was plenty for me.
Remember: add the noodles a few at a time to prevent sticking. Let the soup rest 3 minutes off the heat before serving. Sprinkle with cheese for extra calories….or not.