Ingredients

  • cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon lard
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ½ pound cottage cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup ½-inch pieces of pork cracklings

Method

  1. Make a hard dough by mixing the flour, eggs, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ cup lukewarm water. If eggs are large, add a little bit more flour during kneading. Knead the dough very well, and divide it into 2 loaves.
  2. Place each dough loaf on a floured board and stretch into a very, very thin sheet. Let each sheet dry for 5 minutes on each side.
  3. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add remaining 2 teaspoons salt and the lard (to keep dough pieces from sticking together). Preheat oven to 350°F.
  4. Tear 2- or 3-inch pieces from the dough sheets and drop them into the boiling water. Cook the noodle pieces for no more than 4 or 5 minutes; avoid a soft, sticky dough. They should be what the Italians call al dente. If the noodles are overcooked, the dish will become almost pasty.
  5. Drain the dough pieces from the water and mix them with the melted butter in an attractive earthenware casserole. Sprinkle with cottage cheese, sour cream and cracklings.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes to bring to a very hot temperature. Another attractive way is to use a large round casserole, pile up the noodles, and top them with all the other ingredients. This dish must be sizzling hot!

Variation

If fresh pork cracklings are not available, use ¾ pound double-smoked slab bacon. Cut it in ½-inch dice and fry until almost crisp. Pour both melted fat and cracklings over the noodles, sour cream and cottage cheese: or for more Americanized style, drain off the fat and add only the bacon dice to the noodles.

(It is possible to eliminate the fresh dough and use broken-up Italian lasagne noodles. Of course the dish won’t be the real thing.)

In Hungary most families would use freshly rendered bacon drippings instead of the butter.

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