Pasta and Noodles

Course | Pastas, Noodles and Dumplings Image

Common lore has Marco Polo bringing pasta west from China in the 13th century. Truth be told, forms of pasta and noodles have existed in not just in Asia, but in Europe and the Middle East for a very long time.

Image Creative Commons by angeloangelo

These days, the word "pasta" usually means the Italian type made with durum wheat semolina. Other pastas are made with buckwheat or whole wheat flour. The Chinese make noodles using wheat and rice flour, and even mung bean starch, sweet potato starch and millet.

Pasta and Noodle Recipes

Ants Climbing a Tree

Pastas | Ants Climbing a Tree

(Chinese cellophane noodles with ground pork)

Ants climbing a tree (má yǐ shàng shù) is a Szechuan dish that gets its name from the resemblance of the small pieces of pork to ants on noodle "branches." Because it is easy and cheap to make, ants climbing trees is a traditional favorite of Chinese college students. Read more »

Bún Thịt Nướng

Pastas | Bun Cha Gio Thit Nuong

(Vietnamese rice noodles with bbq pork and vegetables)

Bun thit nuong is a simple meal from Vietnam consisting of cold rice vermicelli mixed with fresh vegetables and topped with hot barbecued pork. Served with nuoc cham sauce, it is a good summer dish — light, lowfat, healthy and cool. Read more »

Char Kway Teow

Pastas | Char Kway Teow

(Malaysian Singaporean stir-fried rice noodles with shrimp)

Char kway teow, which means "fried flat noodles," is a popular and cheap dish found in Malaysia and Singapore. Hearty and filling, it started out as a poor laborer's meal. Over time its popularity has spread. Read more »


Pastas | Couscous and Kebabs

(North African steamed pasta grains)

Couscous is a commonly served type of pasta in the region of Northwest Africa known as the Maghreb. In typical Maghreb cooking, couscous is cooks in the top part of a pot known as a couscousière. The bottom part holds a stew, or tagine, whose simmering vapors steam and flavor the couscous. Read more »


Pastas | Csipetke

(Hungarian pinched noodles)

Csipetke (chip-ET-keh) are one of the many varieties of simple noodles or dumplings found in Hungarian cooking. They are often dropped directly to simmering soups and stews to cook and are a common addition to bográcsgulyás. Read more »

Curry Laksa

Soups | Curry Laksa

(Malaysian, Singaporean coconut curried noodle soup)

Street vendors in the Southeast Asian nations of Malaysia and Singapore can often been seen hawking their own version of a local favorite, curry laksa. This flavorful noodle soup, also called curry mee, is made with a rich, coconut milk-based sauce that is scented with a rempah paste and served with any number of toppings. Read more »

Fettuccine Alfredo

Pastas | Fettuccine Alfredo

(Italian pasta tossed with butter and cheese)

Though pasta tossed with butter and cheese has been around for a long time in Italy — where it is better known as pasta al burro or pasta in bianco — it really took off after the namesake of the Restaurant Alfredo alla Scrofa in Rome served it to American film stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks on their honeymoon in the 1920s. Alfredo renamed the dish after himself, and the actors took the recipe with them back to Hollywood where it was introduced to an appreciative American audience. Read more »

Jap Chae

Pastas | Jap Chae

(Korean mixed vegetable and noodle stir fry)

Jap chae (chop chae, japchae, jabchae), is Korean for "mixed vegetables" and is a common Korean side dish. The sweet potato starch noodles are traditional, but cellophane noodles are easier to find and have much the same texture. Read more »


Pastas | Kushari Restaurant

(Egyptian pasta, rice and lentils with tomato sauce)

Kushari is a simple yet healthful dish of pasta, rice and lentils widely sold in small Egyptian restaurants and roadside stands. With its full complement of protein, a spicy topping of tomato sauce and crispy fried onions, kushari is often considered the Egyptian national dish. Read more »

Liang Mian

Pastas | Liang Mian Sesame Noodles

(Chinese cold sesame noodles)

Simple, bold and refreshing, a cool bowl of Chinese sesame noodles (麻醬麵, or liang mian) are the perfect foil for a hot, muggy day. This noodle dish originated in the Szechuan countryside. It comes together in a snap and tastes great. A Taiwanese version, called ma jiang mian, has a sauce that is a little soupier. Read more »

Longevity Noodles

Pastas | Longevity Noodles

(Chinese egg noodles in broth)

Longevity, or long-life, noodles are a popular Chinese dish for birthdays and Chinese New Year. As their name indicates, they symbolize living to a ripe old age. There are innumerable variations on the basic noodle dish; this one serves a simple broth over the yi mein egg noodles. Read more »

Macaroni and Cheese

Pastas | Macaroni and Cheese Image

(American pasta with cheese)

Macaroni and cheese is an old American favorite dating back almost to the time of the American Revolution. Always a Southern favorite, its popularity really took off after Kraft® introduced a boxed version in the 1930s. Kraft's version became so popular that some people now prefer their packaged to the homemade. We still think homemade is best. Read more »

Mee Krob

Pastas | Mee Krob

(Thai fried noodles in sweet-sour sauce)

Thai for "fried noodles," mee krob is a popular dish in Thailand that takes crispy fried rice noodles and tosses them with a tasty sweet-sour sauce. Most of this dish's components can be prepared ahead and the noodles tossed with the sauce at the last minute. The noodles will get soggy if you stir them into the sauce too soon before they are served. Read more »

Mie Goreng

Pastas | Mie Goreng

(Indonesian stir-fried noodles with vegetables)

For a quick, nourishing meal, Indonesian mie goreng is a great choice. Also spelled mi or mee goreng, this stir-fried noodle dish is a great way to use up items in the fridge. Use your imagination! Popular in Malaysia too. Read more »

Orecchiette con Broccoli

Pastas | Orecchiette con Broccoli

(Italian ear-shaped pasta with broccoli)

This simple recipe comes together quickly and is a great first course for any Italian meal or can serve as a light dinner on its own. Orecchiette, an ear-shaped pasta, is perfect for this dish, but you can substitute other shaped pasta like penne, fusilli or farfalle. Read more »

Pad Thai

Pastas | Pad Thai

(Thai stir-fried rice noodles)

Pad thai is often considered the quintessential Thai dish, even though it has only been around for the last 60 or 70 years. Pad thai is Thai fast food, tossed up in noodle shops or made on the street at innumerable pad thai carts. Sometimes spelled phad thai, phat thai or paad thai. Read more »

Pancit Bihon

Pastas | Pancit Bihon

(Filipino stir-fried rice noodles with meat and vegetables)

Pancit, or pansit, is a quick-cooked noodle dish that is one of the quintessential meals of Filipino cuisine. All kinds are available, and pancit is as popular at street stands as it is at family gatherings. The most common variety is pancit bihon, with rice vermicelli and a mix of meat and vegetables. Read more »

Pasta alla Puttanesca

Pastas | Pasta alla Puttanesca Image

(Italian pasta with tomatoes, olives and capers)

Puttana is the Italian word for "whore," and legend has it that this dish was used by Neapolitan ladies of the night to entice potential clients to sample their other offerings. It's a simple, straightforward dish with bold Mediterannean flavors. Read more »

Penang Hokkien Mee

Soups | Penang Hokkien Mee

(Malaysian spicy shrimp and pork noodle soup)

Hokkien mee is actually the name for three different noodle dishes found in Southeast Asia. This recipe is for Penang Hokkien mee (槟城福建虾面) as it is enjoyed in Malaysia's modern, urban and diverse Penang state on the country's northwest coast. In Penang, Hokkien mee is a steaming bowl of noodles and rich shrimp broth, studded with sliced pork, shrimp, vegetables and chiles. Read more »

Ragù Bolognese

Sauces | Ragu Bolognese

(Italian tomato-meat sauce)

Ragù bolognese is a good Sunday dinner dish. Its long simmering is perfect for a lazy day. Serve this rich meat sauce over tagliatelle, rigatoni or penne or as a lasagne filling. One thing the residents of Bologna never do is serve bolognese sauce over spaghetti. Read more »

Reshteh Polo

Grains | Basmati Rice

(Persian aromatic rice and noodle pilaf layered with meat)

Reshteh polo is a pilaf made with a mixture of rice and toasted that is traditionally served in many Iranian homes on the night before the spring festival of Nowruz. Parcooked rice and noodles are layered with an bewitchingly aromatic meat mixture and gently steamed in the traditional polo manner. The result is fluffy, fragrant and incomparably delicious. Read more »

Singapore Noodles

Pastas | Singapore Noodles

(Chinese stir fried rice noodles)

They may call them Singapore noodles, but this dish is Chinese through and through. The name may be a reference to the exotic curry flavor. Singapore noodles, or sing chow mai fun, are especially popular in the southern Cantonese part of the country and with Chinese populations overseas. As with all stir fries, have all your ingredients assembled and prepared before you begin cooking. Read more »

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Pastas | Spaghetti and Meatballs

(American Italian pasta with meatballs)

Spaghetti and meatballs has been a favorite of the Italian-American community since immigrants from southern Italy first arrived on U.S. shores early in the 20th century. Although the dish is no longer made in Puglia and Sicily, its popularity continues in the United States and has spread to the population at large. Read more »

Spaghetti Carbonara

Pastas | Spaghetti alla Carbonara

(Italian pasta with bacon and eggs)

This amazing pasta dish is said by some to have originated at the end of World War II, when American soldiers in Rome yearned for a meal of bacon and eggs. The Romans, of course, added pasta and Parmesan, and a classic was born. In many Roman restaurants these days, the softer flavor of pancetta or salted pork jowl (guanciale) is substituted for smoky bacon. The choice is yours. Also known as spaghetti alla carbonara. Read more »

Su Udon

Soups | Su Udon

(Japanese noodles in broth)

Udon noodle soup is a long-standing Japanese favorite, imported originally from China. Udon shops are found all over the country, and each one has its own specialty. The flavor of the broth and choice of garnishes vary widely from region to region. Read more »