What’s for Dinner debunks the myth: Noodles or Pasta?


Debunk The Myth

Have you ever wondered about whether or not noodles are different from pasta? The truth is that noodles are, in fact, not different from pasta.

What are noodles you ask? According to Wikipedia “the noodle is a type of staple food made from some type of unleavened dough which is rolled flat and cut into one of a variety of shapes”. While long thin strips may be the most common, many varieties of noodles are cut into waves, helices, tubes, strings and shells, folded over, or cut into other shapes. 

Noodles are usually cooked in boiling water, sometimes with cooking oil or salt added, but are often pan fried or deep fried. Noodles can be refrigerated for short-term storage, or dried and stored for future use.”

In Italian, pasta means "paste," and refers to a type of dough that is made of durum wheat flour that is combined with a liquid, usually water or milk. Almost every country has a form of pasta. Pasta describes a wide variety of noodles that are made from this type of dough. Some dough includes eggs, although dough made with only flour and eggs is generally referred to as noodles.

So, now we know that pasta and noodles are the same thing, but did you know that noodles are found and made all over the world from different ingredients including wheat flour and rice flour? Noodles are a staple food in many countries, especially in Asia, just like rice or ugali would be used in Kenya to accompany various meals. 

Instant noodles are fast becoming a hit in Kenya as a convenient way of making meals. Having them once a week as a snack is fine. However, if you are looking for a healthy dinner recipe that is also quick and easy, use the noodles and discard the flavouring sachets that come in the packets, make a simple stir fry vegetable meal with some soy sauce and enjoy a guilt-free meal!

Easy guide to a great Pasta Meal

When it comes to a great pasta dish, the trick is in the way you cook and handle it after it comes to a boil and add the accompanying sauce. Below are some points to consider:

Cooking Pasta 

The first thing to note when cooking pasta is to read the specific cooking time that can be found on the packet. The time is determined by the type and thickness of the particular pasta. Generally speaking, store bought dry pasta cooks anywhere between six to nine minutes. The second thing to note during cooking is to leave the pasta slightly firm to the bite, otherwise known as ‘aldente’, for an enjoyable eating experience.

  1. Bring the water to a boil and add some salt to it. When water is boiling, place the pasta into the boiling water and allow to cook.  
  2. Two minutes after the pasta is in the water, stir to prevent the pasta from sicking together. 
  3. Let the boiling continue without the lid for the time according to the instructions on the packet.  
  4. Just before the time is up, take a piece out and bite into it to feel the hardness of the pasta. You know that it’s ready when you see a small white line or spot inside the piece.
  5. Drain off the hot water and place it under cold running water until cool.
  6. To finish, drain off the water to a container and add some oil to avoid the pasta from sticking to each other especially when you store it in the fridge.
  7. Pasta can be kept in the fridge for up to three days in an airtight container.
  8. When it comes to cooking, all you need to do is dip the pasta in hot water and then add your accompanying sauce.

This is a classic pasta dish that is simple to make. If the recipe requires bacon, beef bacon can be used as a substitute. Precook your pasta according to the instructions on the packaging and follow the steps outline above. If you’re looking for a delicious pasta recipe, why not try our Pizza Spaghetti Casserole for a scrumptious and healthy dinner recipe.