What is the difference between pasta and noodles?

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Both at home and on the menu we regularly detect some confusion: when exactly do you use pasta and when do you use noodles? And is there really a difference between pasta and noodles, or can we just as well drape our bolognese over a portion of soba noodles if we don’t have spaghetti?

We explain it to you once and for all.

The difference between pasta and noodles

The discussion already arises at the origin of the word: according to many a proud Italian, ‘pasta’ comes from (surprise!) Italy. However, historians tell us that it was the Arabs who introduced pasta to the Italian island of Sicily. Anyway, ‘pasta’ translates to ‘dough’ or ‘pasta’ (that is, liquid) and refers to the process.

The name ‘noodle’, on the other hand, has its origin in Germany, derived from ‘Nudel’. But the first evidence of an actual bowl of noodles? It dates back to 4000 years ago, in China. 

Pasta ingredients

The ingredients

We dive a little further into the product: Italians have at least claimed the pasta recipe: pasta is almost always made from durum wheat, water and egg.

Noodles, on the other hand, are made from wheat, but -depending on the type of noodle- we also make buckwheat , rice, mung beans or (sweet) potato .  Salt can be added in the base of both, but, depending on the recipe, it mainly makes the difference during cooking or as part of the sauce. 

The cooking process

Dried or fresh: noodles and pasta need cooking. Cooking pasta requires moisture and focus: al dente is a worldwide concept for a reason. Whatever you do: never cook your pasta too far, but certainly not too short either. Noodles, on the other hand, depending on the type, are just as delicious fried as in a steaming bowl of soup as they are boiled and stir-fried.

The same applies to both: the structure and shape affect other ingredients and therefore often require a different recipe. Unless you possess the creativity and courage of David Chang, who stepped on many an Italian toe with his Cacio e pepe based on -yes- ramen.


Types of pasta and noodles

In both categories, countless (divinely tasty) varieties can be found all over the world. We used to associate pasta mainly with Italy (not a week goes by without spaghetti, penne, rigatoni and so on), we now like to fill our stomachs at least as much with Polish pierogies or Greek Orzo.

And noodles , well noodles, do you have a minute? This blissful category includes legendary varieties ranging from Japanese ramen to Chinese biang biang noodles .


Are pasta and noodles interchangeable? The conclusion.

Don’t just swap pasta for noodles or vice versa. Each type has its own preparation method and each form flourishes thanks to a suitable recipe.

What we can conclude anyway: a life without pasta or noodles is like a nightmare without clothes: cold and stressful. We can continue to discuss origin, meaning and form, the fact remains that both noodles and pasta make life a lot more beautiful. 

Source: Culy by culy.nl
*The article has been translated based on the content of Culy by culy.nl If there is any problem regarding the content, copyright, please leave a report below the article. We will try to process it as quickly as possible to protect the rights of the author.

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*We just want readers to access information more quickly and easily with other multilingual content, instead of only having information available in a certain language.


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