You know those family recipes that are like, some of this, some of that, whatever else you feel like, and dinner is served! I love those! For a long time my family lived on Bowl of Stuff, and every time I posted a picture of my bowl of the day people asked for the recipe. But there never really is one, because Bowl of Stuff is more of a concept than a recipe. (But then I did eventually write some recipes because I know not everyone is cool with winging it.)
Well, the same is true for Noochy Noodles. There’s a naked version, which is #1 below, and then there are the loads of variations I make depending on what’s handy! Make the basic noodles, and then add whatever you want – #2-5 are suggestions, but I’d love to hear what you end up doing with this!
1. Naked Noochy Noodles
Quick back story: My son Teno used to love buttered noodles from Noodles & Co. when he was little… and I have loved pasta with garlic and olive oil my entire life. So this recipe came out of sort of combining the two, and making them vegan.
- Cook one box of pasta as directed on the package. We always make farfalle, but you can choose a different shape – I recommend something with twists or curls so the sauce has something to stick to. Make sure you salt your cooking water – I usually throw a tablespoon of salt in.
- Before draining your pasta, scoop out about 1 cup of the cooking water – this has salt in it, plus starch from the pasta. It’s going to help your sauce stick to the pasta. Set is aside and drain the pasta.
In the same pot you cooked your pasta in (unless you have a good reason to dirty a new one) melt a good quality vegan butter (I like Miyoko’s) over medium-low heat, add some olive oil, and a bunch of nutritional yeast. Splash in as much of the reserved pasta water as you need to make a sauce, and return the pasta to the pot, stirring to coat.
OK, I know I lost a couple of you who are looking for measurements – look, it’s super preferential. If I’m cooking a whole box of pasta, I use about 1/4 cup butter, 2 Tbs olive oil, 1/4 cup or more of nutritional yeast. You might use more or less.
4. Turn the heat off and serve. I like to season it with some freshly ground black pepper and Not Parm – but do whatever makes you happy. And keep reading for more ideas.
2. Dragon’s Blood Noochy Noodles
I make this nourishing dish for myself after I donate blood. All the green stuff is full of iron, which you’ll be low on after you donate, plus a shot of B-12 from the nutritional yeast.
Make Naked Noochy Noodles as directed above – when it’s just me, I like to also throw 2-3 garlic cloves into the butter/oil mixture. Teno isn’t a big fan, despite is overwhelmingly Italian name. While the pasta is cooking, steam a cup of chopped broccoli and a couple handfuls of spinach for about 3 minutes – until the broccoli is bright green and the spinach is wilted. When you’re ready to add the pasta to the sauce, throw the veggies in too. I usually top it off with some basil from my herb garden and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
3. Teno’s Garden Noochy Noodles
Although he passed away before I was born, my mom’s told me enough stories about my great-grandpa Teno’s backyard garden for me to feel like I saw it myself. (His full name was Defendente Petitti, and I think if you whisper it over your pasta while it cooks magical things might happen.)
Sorry recipe sticklers, this is kind of another one where I’m gonna ask you to wing it. The concept here is fresh, fresh, fresh. Taking things from your backyard garden and throwing them into the pot raw so they have texture, color, and lots of flavor. While your pasta is cooking, chop up: a sweet pepper, basil, and flat leaf parsley. When you’re ready to add your pasta to the sauce, throw these ingredients in too. If you want them to get a bit softer, cook everything for 3-5 minutes over medium-low heat. But I like them just warmed through, still crunchy and leafy. Garnish each bowl with halved cherry tomatoes, freshly ground black pepper, and if you like them, some nice salty pitted olives.
4. Roasty Toasty Noochy Noodles
This version came about, again, thanks to my son Teno. His school lunch schedule is cray, sometimes he eats lunch at 11am so by the time I’m home from work he’s starving, but Tony gets home an hour, sometimes two hours after me. So I needed to figure out a way to make Teno a quick dish that could be re-heated and tweaked for us grown ups a couple hours later.
- So, for Teno, I make Naked Noochy Noodles, which he eats with absolutely no vegetables (sometimes broccoli, if I nag him) and no additional seasoning. I stick the leftovers in the fridge and turn the oven to 475 degrees F.
- Then I start cutting my favorite roasting vegetables – carrots, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, etc. – into pieces that are roughly the same size as each other. Throw them in a bowl, along with whole cloves of garlic, big chunks of red onion, a pinch of dried oregano, a pinch of dried rosemary, a pinch of dried thyme, and toss with 1/4 cup olive oil.
- Spread everything out in an even layer on a baking sheet – put down some parchment paper first for an easier clean up – and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then roast for 35-40 minutes, stirring/flipping it all about 20 minutes in.
- Once Tony gets home, I grab the pot I cooked the pasta in, drizzle a little olive oil so it’s not sticky, and I stir together the prepared Noochy Noodles with my roasted veggies. The sauce isn’t going to coat the veggies as much as it would have if you’d cooked everything at the same time – but I like the difference in color, texture and flavor. You still get that nice charred flavor on the vegetables, with a buttery, cheesy soft cushion of noodles.
I’m just looking back at this now and laughing thinking about anyone who prints it out to make at home. “OK so first make Teno his, then when Tony gets home…”
5. Fakon Noochy Noodles
One of my favorite dishes is Chloe Coscarelli’s Vegan Pasta Carbonara with Shiitake Bacon, and while it’s not all that complicated to make, sometimes I’m just too lazy. So one way I can guarantee that I’ll have something similar for dinner even on my busiest night is to make the star ingredient – the shiitake bacon – over the weekend, and keep it on hand for a Monday night dinner.
Then, make a batch of Naked Noochy Noodles – while your pasta is cooking, heat a bit of olive oil in a pan and cook 1 chopped white onion and three minced cloves of garlic until soft. Throw that into the pot with your cooked noodles and prepared sauce, and add a squeeze of lemon juice. Top with the bacon, some black pepper and parsley, and make a note to make the real carbonara recipe sometime when you aren’t so lazy.
Noochy Noodles Five Ways
By July 27, 2018Published:
Noochy Noodles are less a recipe and more a way of life. Check out the suggestions above for different ways to serve this simple dish.
- 1 box dry farfalle pasta cooked
- 1/4 cup good quality vegan butter
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- Please see #1 above for the full directions.
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