PASTA OR NOODLES?
Pasta is the Italian word for a paste, and Italian pasta traditionally is made simply with semolina flour and water. Noodles, derived from the German word nudel, are a subset of pasta made from Durum flour (a more finely ground form of semolina), water and eggs.
Egg noodles are thick, wide ribbons of pasta with a fat content that’s slightly higher than that of other kinds of pasta because of their high percentage (up to 20%) of eggs. Their firm, sturdy texture makes them ideal for use in casseroles and heavy soups, and a perfect accompaniment to stews. Because people often equate eggs with cholesterol, noodles are sometimes considered a less healthy pasta choice.
Like Italian pasta, some Asian noodles aren’t made with eggs, and they may be made with starches like rice or mung beans instead of semolina. Until recently, the U.S. government required any product marketed as a noodle to contain flour, water and eggs. The Cook’s Thesaurus notes that “The FDA permitted names like alimentary paste and imitation noodles, but Asian noodle producers — from the birthplace of the noodle, no less — could not use the n-word. The government finally relented, and we can now use the name Asian noodles.”