Nigel Slater: Eating Together episode 6 – Noodles: Nigel‘s tour of modern British home cooking explores the flair and flamboyance of noodles, from his own rustic take on old-fashioned spaghetti bolognese to the German art of noodle making from scratch, which Steffi shows him using a traditional spaetzle board.
He finds a Spanish favourite, fideua, that’s as exuberant as the lady who makes it, and learns from Mickey not only how to make khao soi noodles, but also that even in Wimbledon, Buddhist food traditions are at the very heart of the Thai community.
Nigel Slater: Eating Together episode 6 – Noodles recipes:
Khao soi noodles
This Burmese-style curried noodle soup is spicy, rich and filling. It’s also quick and easy to throw together.
- Heat the curry paste in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the chicken drumsticks and cook for 3-4 minutes on all sides, or until covered in the curry paste and browned all over.
- Put the curry powder, coconut milk and chicken stock to the pan and bring the mixture to the boil. Add the palm sugar and fish sauce, reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering, then simmer for 20 minutes, or until the chicken drumsticks are cooked through. (The chicken is cooked through if the juices run clear when pierced in the thickest part with a skewer and no trace of pink remains.)
- Boil 200g/7oz of the noodles in a large pan of boiling water for no more than 1 minute. Drain well and set aside.
- Heat the groundnut oil in a wok over a high heat. Add the remaining noodles and fry for a few seconds, until crisp.
- Divide the blanched noodles among 3 or 4 serving bowls and splash a little soy sauce over each. Pour over the chicken and sauce, then sprinkle the spring onions, red onion and coriander on top.
- Break the fried noodles into small pieces and sprinkle them over each bowl of khao soi. Serve with lime wedges alongside.
Spaghetti with roasted rib ragu
Nigel Slater’s recipe uses beef ribs and fresh tomatoes for a no-effort dish with all the flavours that make spaghetti bolognese so loved.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160 fan/Gas 4.
- Heat the oil over a medium heat in a large roasting tin on the hob. Add the short ribs and fry for 3-4 minutes on all sides, or until browned all over. Add the onions and carrots, then transfer to the oven for 45 minutes.
- After 45 minutes, tuck the tomatoes and the whole garlic bulb into the roasting tin, pour in the beef stock and continue to cook for a further hour.
- Towards the end of the cooking time, cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions, then drain well and set aside.
- Remove the beef ribs from the roasting tin and set aside on a chopping board to rest.
- Squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins into the roasting tin. Using a slotted spoon or fork, lightly squash the tomatoes and mix them and the garlic into the sauce.
- Slide the short-rib meat off the bones and cut it into strips. Return the meat to the roasting tin.
- Stir in the cooked pasta, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and serve.
This gorgeous Valencian dish is a one-pot wonder similar to paella that’s a hit all over Spain and further afield.
- For the stock, place the grated tomato skins in a large saucepan, reserving the flesh for later, with the rest of the stock ingredients and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering, then continue to simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the stock and reserve the liquid.
- For the fideuà, heat half of the oil in a paella pan or large, heavy-based, shallow frying pan over a medium heat. Add the monkfish and prawns and fry for 1-2 minutes on each side, until browned on both sides, adding more oil if necessary. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Heat the remaining oil in the frying pan, add the onions and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic, tomato flesh and squid and continue cook over a low heat for 6-7 minutes, or until the squid is opaque.
Method part 2
- Add the ñora peppers and the noodles, mix well, and continue to cook for a further 2-3 minutes, or until the noodles are covered in the oil. Sprinkle over the smoked paprika.
- Pour in the stock and bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Return the monkfish and the prawns to the pan, then arrange the mussels over the top of the fideuà. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then cover the pan tightly with aluminium foil or greaseproof paper and continue to simmer for a further 4-5 minutes, or until the mussels have opened (discard any mussels whose shells do not open during cooking).
- Meanwhile, for the picada, grind the almonds and the chopped parsley in a mortar and pestle as finely as possible.
- To serve, sprinkle the picada over the fideuà, garnish with lemon wedges and spoon onto serving plates.
Spätzle and cheese with speck
Spätzle is Germany’s answer to pasta. This oven-baked version boasts a creamy smoked cheese and speck sauce.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4.
- For the spätzle, in a large bowl, mix together all of the spätzle ingredients with a wooden spoon until they come together as a smooth, loose dough.
- Bring a large pan of water to a rolling boil.
- Using a spätzle board and scraper, place a small amount of the spätzle dough onto the board. Wet the scraper with a little water, then flatten the piece of dough, pushing it towards the edge of the board.
- Using the edge of the scraper to cut the dough, slice very thin strips of the dough and slide them off the edge of the board and into the boiling water.
- Repeat this process with all of the spätzle dough.
- Cook the spätzle until they float to the surface of the water (you may need to do this in batches). Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon, or drain in a colander, then transfer to a roasting tray.
- For the sauce, gently heat the double cream in a saucepan. Stir in the grated cheese until melted, then stir in the speck. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until just coloured.
- Pour the sauce over the spätzle, then scatter over the fried onions and some more grated cheese. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until the cheese is golden-brown and the sauce is bubbling.
Crisp noodle cake with basil cream
Nigel Slater gets imaginative with pasta, frying it as a block and serving it with a spicy cream sauce.
- Heat the double cream in a lidded saucepan over a gentle heat. Add the ancho chillies and whole lemon peel. Stud the onion half with the cloves and add it to the pan.
- Bring the mixture gently to a simmer. Just as it starts to bubble, turn off the heat, cover the pan with the lid and leave it on the hob to infuse for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the linguine in a pan of boiling, salted water as per the packet instructions. Drain well into a colander and set aside for 10 minutes, until the cooked pasta is dry and sticky.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the grated parmesan, smoked garlic and cracked black pepper until well combined. Stir in the linguine, mixing well.
- Heat half of the oil in a small, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Gather up the pasta and cheese mixture into a ball using your hands, then press it down into the frying pan and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until crisp and golden-brown on both sides but soft in the middle.
- When the sauce has infused, blend it in a food processor with the remaining oil until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve, then stir the basil into the strained sauce.
- To serve, slice the noodle cake into 8 portions. Serve in bowls with the sauce alongside.