My grandmother never bought noodles or pasta, it was simply not something you would buy. A mother and a daughter would meet and make fresh pasta together; sometimes it given as a gift, but never sold, never bought.
Sometimes my grandmother would take a still-warm egg and knead it with flour and salt until a golden, soft and crumbly dough was formed. Then the dough was kneaded for a bit longer, with soft touches but fast, so it wouldn’t dry too much and the dough became more elastic.
The dough was then extended with a rolling pin into a paper-thin surface. A perfectly thin, golden surface. The table-wide paper-like dough was then sprinkled with flour and quickly folded in two, in three, in four, as many as needed.
With a big, sharpened knife, the dough was cut into thin, perfectly equal noodles.
Some of this pasta was used fresh and sometimes it was put to dry out of sun and out of sight into a less-circulated space, like a table in a guest room.
I had never eaten a more delicious chicken soup with noodles than the one my grandmother cooks. In my family, we all agree she makes the best one. Her food is grown organically, and she always uses the most tasty ingredients. You know, tomatoes that taste like tomatoes, apples that taste of apples.
And still, there’s something else, something so sweet, and comforting and wonderful that we’ve never tasted anywhere else. It could be the fresh herbs, but that’s not it either.
I ask her what the secret is and she says it’s… the noodles. When I ask her for the noodle recipe, she laughs, her eyes and lips creating happy wrinkles on her face. There is no recipe. No need.
You just take an egg and mix it with flour and a bit of salt…