- 50 minutes
- For 4 people
- 1.7 € / person
On a recent visit to Calle General Margallo 4 in Madrid, I brought the entire Iberochina store that, as the friend Lúa Monasterio says :
“In front of a neighborhood Chinese appearance, this store hides a lot of surprising and imported food. From spicy udon pasta to mustard plant -that is not sauce-, through fresh ginger, dozens of varieties of tea, frozen dim sum, buckwheat noodles … A whole Asian festival with intelligible lyrics that makes things very difficult for undecided. ”
In today’s recipe I decided on some Chinese wheat (not rice) noodles with eggs, very similar to the Japanese noodles in the previous recipe. The big difference is that these are made with a slightly salty pasta (so when we cook them we do not need to add salt) and they do not present curl because they do not have kansui , in addition to the most famous pasta in Spain, the Italian, we only need 4 to 5 minutes for cooking.
Who invented pasta? Six years ago, the world’s oldest noodle was discovered in Lajia, China, in the Yellow River area of Qinghai. It is said to be 4,000 years old and was made from millet and setaria, and the first written reference to it comes from the eastern Han Dynasty between 25 and 220 CE. So according to the Chinese they are the first creators of the pasta in the form of thread. Several legends say that Marco Polo came to Italy from his travels in the East with this paste, but it has been proven that it is not true and there is evidence that it was known in Greece and Italy since ancient times. In Arab Spain there are written references to noodles (aletria) from the 12th century. Everyone tries to defend its veracity, but best of all, today we have it in our homes, and it is one of the basic ingredients of our diet.
After a master class on Valentine’s Day with his Noodles with chicken and vegetables , I present you a tuned recipe, similar in essence but very different in ingredients, and it has occurred to me to have flavors from the west and mix them with an Asian touch, a little ratatouille with garlic and Dijon mustard on the one hand and ginger, soy and noodles on the other. The result I can assure you is magnificent, you just have to try them.
Preparation of concentrated tomato sauce
- We open the can of whole peeled tomatoes and remove the excess liquid (the tomato water) since in this case we will only use the pulp. It can be stored in a pot for another future recipe with tomato water or put this water in a saucepan and reduce for 15 minutes to have concentrated tomato paste.
- Put the extra virgin olive oil and the tomatoes in a saucepan, cut them in half with the help of a wooden spoon. Let it cook until they reduce to less than half their size, about 15 minutes on high heat, stirring continuously so that they do not stick to the casserole.
- Add a teaspoon of sugar to reduce acidity, a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper, stir everything well, bringing together flavors.
- We test and rectify with salt, although it is most likely not necessary. We remove a few minutes and remove from the fire. We reserve to add to the ratatouille.
Preparation of the ratatouille
- To prepare a good ratatouille we need some good ingredients from the garden: tomatoes, onions, some garlic cloves, peppers and zucchini (in some cases I have prepared it with aubergines, it depends on the taste of each one and what you have in the fridge) . The most important thing for it to turn out well is the cooking order: first the onions, then the peppers, the zucchini and finally the tomatoes.
- We wash the vegetables very well. Chop the garlic cloves into slices, the julienne onion (in more or less equal and narrow strips), the peppers, the tomatoes and the zucchini in medium-sized quarters, of the ” Brunoise type “, which is usually 0.5 centimeters thick. For those who are new to the kitchen and are making this recipe for the first time, I advise you to cut first into slices and then make equal cuts first horizontally and then vertically. This type of cut is also called “the planter.”
- Add the extra virgin olive oil to the casserole and fry the onions and garlic first. Once they have color, we add the zucchini, the peppers and the tomato. It will take approximately 10 minutes over medium heat, remember that we have to stir so that it does not burn and stick to the casserole. Add the tomatoes and let everything simmer for about 15 minutes. When there are 5 minutes of cooking add the chopped bacon.
- We rectify salt and pepper and let it reduce everything a little. We add the concentrated tomato sauce that we have reserved and the ginger powder, we put everything together to mix flavors. We remove from the fire and drain the excess liquid, reserve.
Cooking Chinese Noodles
- While we are preparing the ratatouille, add the noodles to a saucepan with very hot water and without salt. You have to be careful because these noodles take less time to cook than Italian pasta, they generally require less than 5 minutes to reach the al dente state. In fact, some noodles reach this state in less than a minute, being ready to serve. So 4 minutes is enough, we remove them from the heat and drain to add when the ratatouille is done. We don’t throw the liquid away.
Presentation of the dish
- We put the drained ratatouille in a flat saucepan (it is not necessary to add everything, the rest you put together in a jar with the liquid that is left over and you can use it for another recipe) and we complete it with a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, the acid mustard flavor.
- Add the freshly made Chinese noodles or noodles to the casserole and mix everything with a spoon so that the flavors come together.
- We decorate each plate with a little chopped coriander and sprinkle it over the Chinese noodles. We serve them warm, with or without chopsticks.
It is certainly an exotic recipe, of which the dish is repeated. Do not stop trying it and you will tell me …