A rich and creamy dish topped with crunchy noodles and speckled with cinnamon and currants. It’s especially delicious on a cold, snowy Sunday morning.
“Soul food” for us are the foods that stir strong memories and pleasant associations. If you’ve been following this blog, you already know that our soul food doesn’t harken from one location, one culture, or even one group of people. We have an eclectic past – one might say checkered – where food and food associations are always the common denominator.
That brings us to the present where I am in my kitchen in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, with a craving for warm noodle kugel inspired by my Jewish roots. I don’t know who gave me my first taste of this rich, satisfying and sweet dish. Maybe it was one of my Jewish grandmas, who still metaphorically lurk in my kitchen. Noodle kugel is a relatively easy dish with normally available ingredients. This version of noodle kugel has been adapted to my Mongolian pantry, which means I started with egg pasta I made from scratch. I substituted the traditional cottage cheese with homemade ricotta because I can’t find cottage cheese here. The ricotta turned out to be a delicious substitution. And I used currants instead of raisins – just because they are tasty and pack a big bang of flavor into a cute little package. The end result was as satisfying as I remember. I’d like to think mine tasted better than my memory serves if only because of the fresh pasta.
Scratch Noodle Kugel
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup homemade ricotta cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 4 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 cups wide egg noodles, cooked al dente
- 1/4 cup dried currants
- Grease an 8 x 8 inch glass baking dish (20 x 20 cm).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together first 6 ingredients.
- Gently mix noodles into egg mixture.
- Fold in currants.
- Pour noodle mixture into prepared baking dish.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Custard should be set and top of kugel should be lightly browned.