Savory Noodle Kugel

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Comfort food in a baking dish is a good way to describe kugels—and this savory, nondairy noodle version from my new book, The Essential Jewish Cookbook, fits right in. A tangle of pappardelle noodles set in eggs with some onion and spices welcome you into the kugel repertoire with something at once easy and adaptable.

But let’s back up. Kugels are steamed or baked puddings of starch and eggs hailing from Ashkenazi Jewish traditions from Eastern Europe. Back when home ovens were rare, these homey dishes would be placed in a special pot over the open fire to steam. Earliest versions featured bread or noodles and were savory. Rice versions appeared later, and when the potato became cheap and ubiquitous in Europe, potato versions surged in popularity (just like potato versions of latkes became fan favorites).

When sugar became more affordable, sweet versions also arose, often featuring farmer’s or cottage cheese, sugar, and dried fruits (and don’t worry, there’s a decadently sweet noodle kugel recipe in The Essential Jewish Cookbook as well).

These special dishes, which could be served warm or room temperature, remained mainstays of Shabbat lunches and special gatherings when Jews relocated to the United States. The kugel’s comfort status never faded and it holds a special place in the world of essential Jewish foods.

The recipe below is from The Essential Jewish Cookbookwhich is now available for ordering on Amazon.



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