Introduction: Lascute (Homemade Square Pasta)
Lascute (or Romanian square pasta) are nothing else but some tiny squares with 5 mm side length. They are so delicious in chicken soups, tomato or bean-based soups. They are really easy to make, they require just a few things: some flour, salt and eggs. You also need a rolling pin, a sharp knife and some spare time. I like to make a large batch and I dry them overnight. Once nice and dry, they last for weeks.
For this pasta recipe I use all-purpose white flour, chicken or duck eggs and Himalayan salt. Chicken eggs make some delicious homemade noodles, but duck eggs simply elevate the dish. Duck eggs are higher in fat, compared to chicken eggs, which improves both the texture and the taste of the pasta. Also, duck eggs have a higher yolk to white ratio than chicken eggs, which provides a more vibrant color to the final product.
Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients
- 200g sifted all-purpose white flour (+ 50g for dusting the dough)
- 2 large chicken eggs (2 x 60g) / 2 medium duck eggs
- ½ tsp salt
- a small bowl
- a fork
- a rolling pin
- a sharp knife
- a large clean towel / tablecloth
- tsp = teaspoon
Step 2: Prepare the Dough
Sift the flour - this step is optional. Place the flour on a clean working surface and make a well in the center.
Crack the eggs in a medium bowl and beat them with a fork. Add the beaten eggs and the salt and mix with a fork, until almost all the flour is incorporated in the egg mixture.
Step 3: Knead the Dough
Leave the fork aside and use your fingers to form a ball of dough.
Using your hands knead the dough vigorously until the surface becomes smooth. This step will take about 10 minutes.
Wrap it in cling film and let it rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Step 4: Roll the Pasta Sheet
After 15 minutes take the dough out from the fridge, cut it in half and form 2 smaller balls (this way it will be easier to work the dough).
Use the same cling film to warp one ball and leave the ball aside.
Place the second ball on the floured working surface. Roll the dough using a rolling pin from the center, one way at a time, until you get a thin sheet of dough (it should be about 1 mm thick). This might take a good 10 minutes.
Sprinkle the sheet of dough with flour, place it on a clean tablecloth and let it dry for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile take the second ball and roll it exactly in the same way.
Step 5: Cut the Pasta Sheet
Roll the first sheet of dough (the dried one) on the rolling pin, cut it lengthwise and leave the rolling pin aside.
At this point you should have in front of you about 5 rectangles situated one on top of the other.
Step 6: Cut the Square Noodles
Fold one side of the rectangles over the other side and cut the dough into 5 mm thick ribbons.
Take about 6 – 7 ribbons at a time, rotate them and star cutting the little squares.
Step 7: Let the Noodles Dry
Dust your hands with flour and start separating the lascute. Place them on a wooden board (or a large plate) and let them dry overnight. When they are completely dry, place them in paper bags (or an airtight container) and store them in the pantry.
Step 8: Enjoy!
You can use them whenever noodles are called for. They are usually added to chicken or tomato soups.
Bring the soup to a boil and add the noodles. Boil them uncovered for 3 - 4 minutes. As soon as they start rising at the surface, begin testing them for doneness. They are ready when they are still "al dente", as the residual heat of the pot will continue cooking them.