Pasta and noodles are both pantry staples and because they bear so many similarities, they are often confused with each other and sometimes even substituted with the other.
How many times have you ever considered using spaghetti when a recipe calls for egg noodles?
Interestingly, although the first evidence of noodles was found in China, “noodles,” the term for the slurpable starch, was first used in Germany in the 1400s to refer to an ingredient added to casseroles. The “nudel” was made of wheat flour, butter and milk.
Today, we often think of noodles when we think about Asian dishes, and pasta when we think about Italian cuisine. Whether cooked fresh or store-bought, used for ragu or ramen, pastas and noodles are versatile and come in different types.
Luckily for us, there’s no need to pick a side when we have all these options and more in the city:
Dimes Bistro+Coffee’s Spaghetti Carbonara
Non-Italians, especially Filipinos, have committed a lot of crimes against this much-revered classic, the most common one being the addition of cream. Creamy carbonara—which should only be achieved through raw eggs, reserved pasta water, good-quality cheese like pecorino, smoky cured meat, ideally guanciale or pancetta, and freshly cracked black pepper—is something Dimes Bistro has come close to perfecting.
Tightrope Coffee’s Chorizo Aglio Olio
For a cafe that’s most known for its coffee, it’s incredible how Tightrope gives just as much thought to its food—from flavor to presentation—instead of treating is as just an afterthought. Its chorizo aglio olio, for one, looks deceptively simple. Upon taking that first forkful though, the al dente pasta and the flavorful and textural contrast of the Spanish chorizo, garlic, tomatoes, fresh parsley and parmesan shavings will instantly win you over. The sourdough toast on the side complements it well, and it’s made in-house too.
Draft Punk’s Mee Goreng
This recipe of Indonesian origin uses egg noodles stir-fried in a sticky sweet sauce that’s also savory and spicy. Chicken, bean sprouts and cabbage are mixed in, and a sunny-side-up egg on top completes the dish.
HWKR, one of the outlets in virtual food hall Abaca Eats, specializes in Malay street food and one of the must-try items on its menu is the laksa. The creamy coconut curry broth in which tofu, chicken, shrimp and bean sprouts are stewed, is a winner all on its own, but the homemade noodles wins HWKR brownie points with customers.
Weekend’s Oleo Capparis
The restaurant may be famous for its superior steaks and chops, but what better dish to pair them with than simple and fresh pasta? Inspired by the flavors of the Mediterranean, Weekend’s Oleo Capparis is made with green olives, capers, anchovies, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, parsley and parmesan. The bucatini, which is thick spaghetti-like pasta, is also better for sopping up sauces.