From My Mother’s Kitchen: Spaghetti & Breakfast

EVENT: Dinner for Breakfast
VENUE: Cara’s Apartment, Park Slope
PARTY SIZE: 2 for dinner, 1 for leftovers
TYPE: Extra Homemade; Leftovers
Beef Stew with Fresh Pasta; Fried Noodles

The evening I made beef stew for dinner, I found myself a little bored around 6pm, when I’d normally be cutting and chopping and otherwise prepping. The reason was I’d made the stew in the slow cooker overnight, and though I’d spent some time browning and chopping the evening before, all that remained was to reheat the stew which had been mellowing in the fridge all day. For most, this would be good news. It’s almost the point of the slow cooker–that dinner’s on the table without much effort in the hour preceding it. But for me, it meant a feeling of aimlessness.

That’s when I decided that the only worthy bed for my beef stew was a mess of homemade noodles.

I followed the basic recipe from TheKitchn, though I’d made pasta at home and in classes before. What I was most wary about was the rolling: I don’t have a pasta maker. What I do have is a new, very heavy and strong rolling pin from OXO, which I won from being a finalist on Food52. With my “dining room” table at hip height, I found that the combined weight of the rolling pin and my upper body created enough pressure to roll out the pasta dough thinly enough that I could see my hand through the sheets. Then I folded the sheets up into thirds or fourths and cut myself lots of wide, uneven tagliatelle.

I served my slow-cooker beef stew on top of my brand new homemade noodles. I stashed the remaining cooked noodles in a tupperware in the fridge, so that they’d cool and dry out. I had plans for them.

The next morning, I took the cold, slightly stiff noodles out of the container I’d stored them in. I was going to eat the leftovers for breakfast, but with a new special preparation. Like most strange and special preparations, it has its roots in childhood eating habits: As a kid, one of the best breakfasts was a plate of “fried noodles.” I seem to recall I was the one of my sisters who liked fried noodles the most, and so I’d get dibs when we’d had some sort of pasta dinner the night before. The charm of fried noodles lies equally in the taste of slightly browned butter and in the crispy edges the pasta pieces acquire. All pasta shapes make for good fried noodles, but my fresh pasta was extraordinary, the crispy parts of the strands resembling pan-fried dumplings more than anything else.

From my kitchen, where spaghetti becomes an excellent breakfast, to yours,



Fried Noodles
Serves 1

Like fried rice, this works much better if the noodles have had the night to cool and dry out in the fridge.

1 cup leftover cooked, cooled pasta
2 teaspoons butter
fried egg, grated cheese (optional)

Place the pat of butter in a small frying pan. Over low heat, melt it, then add the pasta. Cook until the edges are crispy, mixing occasionally so you don’t end up with a nest of sorts. Sprinkle with salt and serve. topping with some grated cheese or a fried egg if you’re so inclined.
  • Susanna Brown

    I have made fried pasta for breakfast before, except I scrambled eggs and Parmesan with the frying pasta (sometimes with capers and onions). It's my favorite morning meal after a late night out. I've never done it with a fried egg or fresh pasta though – this is definitely on my list to try!

  • Colleen

    Growing up, my mom called this dish "egg noodles." She'd cook up a bag No Yolks, fry the cooked noodles with butter and eggs in a deep pan, and top it with fresh pepper and grated cheese. I used to make it in college and my roommates thought I was nuts, but it is comfort food at its best!

  • Kate

    We must be sisters!! Homemade noodles are my favorite go-to "I want to cook but don't have any real reason to" food. Plus, they really spruce up any meal. And, I love fried noodles, but I've never made them with homemade noodles, they are the ultimate comfort food, so I can't wait to try them

  • KathyCooks

    That's such a cute post. I love making homemade pasta, and I really think it elevates a meal. As for leftovers, I sometimes sauce pasta before I put it away. Reheating it in a frying pan already sauced is also really good!

  • CBE


  • shayma

    how lovely that you made noodles without a pasta maker- e brava! so sweet that you are still eating what you ate as a child, not that youre old now :) x shayma

  • birds on a wire

    Awesome post! I know feel inclined to try making homemade noodles myself…

  • emhunt

    I love fried noodles with scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, a little sour cream, and some chives. So delicious for brunch.

  • Nikki ‘Trexel’ Moore

    I totally understand your feeling of aimlessness! It's why I haven't used a slow-cooker yet; I wouldn't have anything left to do! If all else fails, I'll start randomly chopping something…like butternut squash I'll then assure myself I'll use the next day.

  • Jessie Blum @ Eclectic Unions

    This is like my favorite part of noodle kugel.. YUM! sounds like a fab breakfast.

  • ashley

    woah woah! you gals live in park slope!?

    • BGSK

      Prospect Heights now – are you in the neighborhood?

      • ashley

        yes ma’am! i live in south slope.. think – one block from double windsor.  we should meet up sometime. x

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