Carinthia is the southernmost province in Austria. With over 200 lakes it is tourist destination. Being a border province the food is influenced by the neighboring states. Kärntner Kasnudeln is one such recipe.
Kasnudeln or noodles are made from scratch usually with all purpose flour. I wanted to use whole wheat flour. I used a combination of wheat flour, semolina and all purpose flour to create the coarse texture needed for the recipe. The color of the finished noodles reflected the presence of the wheat flour but the taste was unaffected and we enjoyed eating a healthier version of the noodle.
The recipe called for a cheese called Bröseltopfen, which is a low fat quark. I took a chance and asked at my local Whole Foods and sure enough they had a tub of quark made in Vermont.
The cheese is labeled "European style fresh cheese". It has a unique flavor close to that of ricotta but not the same. If you are unable to find quark you should be able to substitute ricotta. However, it will affect the taste.
This was the first time I made noodles from scratch and found that it is a fairly easy process. Not sure why I never tried it before. The mantra to good noodle is 'knead baby knead'. 'Knead till you sweat' is what I read in a book. I thought that would be hard to do with 40 F outside. Who knew kneading was such a workout? I was sweating by the time I was done, but the dough had the required smooth texture. Alternately, I could have used my food processor.
This recipe opened new doors for me. I can see myself making ravioli and other stuffed pasta using whole wheat flour. When I make this recipe again I will be sure to divide each ball of the dough further into two. The noodles were way too big.
Substitute cilantro or thyme or a mild smelling herb in place of mint if you find the smell of mint overpowering. I love mint but my daughter insisted it was too strong.
You will need
For the dough
3/4 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup semolina
1 tbsp. olive oil
For the filling
5 oz. cooked potato
8 oz. quark cheese (or ricotta cheese)
2 tbsp. mint, chopped
2 tbsp. onion, chopped fine
1 thin sliver of butter
In a bowl add the flours and semolina. Make a well in the center. Beat an egg in a separate bowl and pour it in the well made with the flour. Using a fork first and then your hands work the egg into the flour. Using water work the flour into a dough. Using a tbsp. of olive oil on your hand knead the dough for at least 5 minutes until the texture of the dough changes completely. It should be smooth and soft to the touch. Place the ball of dough in a plastic wrap and keep aside for 45 minutes.
Pressure cook the potato, then peel and grate it into a bowl. Keep aside.
Heat a sliver of butter in a pan and add the onion for a couple of minutes. Add the chopped mint and season with salt.
Add the onions and the quark cheese to the grated potato. Add salt to taste and mix together. Divide into 8 parts. Start heating water in a large pan.
Take the dough and divide into 8 pieces. (After I was done I realized I could have made 16 smaller Kasnudeln instead of 8 large ones). Take one of the pieces of dough and knead it with your fingers. Keep the rest of the pieces covered in the plastic wrap. You do not want it to dry out. Using as little all purpose flour as possible roll the ball into a thin disk. Place one portion of the filling in it.
Moisten with water the edges of the disk and fold in half. Press the edges together and form a decorative trim.
Keep it covered under a moist towel. Repeat with the other 7 pieces of dough. Put the finished Kasnudeln in the heated, almost boiling water 4 at a time or as many as the pan permits. Let them cook for about 12 minutes. They will float to the surface.
Heat an empty dish in a microwave for a minute. Transfer the cooked noodles to the dish. Repeat for all the noodles. Drizzle melted butter over the top and serve.