Noodles Around the World, European Tour

To many people, pasta is the quintessential food of Italy. There are hundreds of kinds, from long, thin spaghetti and linguine to filled ravioli and tortellini and shapes that look like grains of rice, tiny hats, shells or wheels. Italians have very decided opinions about how to cook each variety and which sauce it goes best with, and they’ll debate the merits of fresh versus dried pasta long after the meal is over.

Better Bolognese: The secret to achieving mouthwatering depth of flavor in Bolognese sauce to serve with freshly made tagliatelle? A few drops of Kikkoman Soy Sauce will bring out all the savory goodness.

Other European countries have noodle specialties that are worth a try, like the thin fideos of Spain, cooked pilaf-style; Germany’s spaetzle, tiny dumpling-like noodles sautéed or served in soup; the sweet noodle puddings called kugel and meat or cheese stuffed pelmeni and pierogi from Eastern Europe.

Perfect Pierogi: Savory cheese and potato pierogi are often available frozen in shops in Polish or Russian neighborhoods, so all you have to do is boil them, toss with butter and top with Kikkoman Panko Bread Crumbs fried in butter until golden and crunchy.

Couscous looks like a small grain but it’s actually a type of semolina pasta found not only in North Africa, but also in Spain, Sicily and the Middle East. Israeli couscous is a variation with grains roughly the size of a small pea. For festive occasions in Morocco, chicken is stewed with aromatic spices and buried under a mound of steamed couscous or vermicelli noodles.

Cook up Some Couscous!: Couscous is the perfect accompaniment to chicken that’s been grilled and then brushed with a glaze of Kikkoman Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce, lemon juice and lemon zest, and a bit of sugar.

Here in the USA, we can enjoy an international menu of pasta, but we savor our own specialties, too. Macaroni salad is a classic for summer picnics, chicken noodle soup warms us up when it’s cold outside, and tuna-noodle and mac ’n’ cheese are go-to casseroles in many kitchens.

Panko-roni ’n’ cheese: For a light and crunchy topping for all kinds of baked noodle casseroles, sprinkle Kikkoman Panko Bread Crumbs on top, drizzle with a little melted butter, and bake until the crumbs are golden brown, like this Old Fashioned Mac n’ Cheese recipe.

 

Old Fashioned Mac n’ Cheese

Ingredients (Makes 4 servings)

4 cups cooked macaroni
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 cups Cheddar cheese, cubed
1 1/2 cups Jack cheese, cubed
1 cup Kikkoman Panko Bread Crumbs
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups Kikkoman PEARL® Organic Original Soymilk

Instructions

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine macaroni, cheese and seasonings. Place in an 8×13-inch baking dish. Combine eggs and soymilk and pour over macaroni. Sprinkle with Panko bread crumbs evenly over the top. Bake 40 minutes until browned on the crust.

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