The word has an Oriental tone to most of us, yet tagliatelli, fettucine and linguini are forms of noodles too, being ribbon-, thread- or even worm-shaped (vermicelli means little worms) lengths of pasta.
Egg noodles are made with wheat and should be cooked to retain a bit of a bite, just like their Italian cousins.
Rice noodles used to be a trouble to shop for as they lurked under confusing names like stick noodles and had the cooking time in six languages – all Asian. Now, thankfully, they have become standard supermarket items: there must be a lot of people cooking Pad Thai at home.
If you have trouble tracking down soba noodles, try www.clearspring.co.uk as they have a wide range of Japanese products.
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