Janet's Notebook
Use Your Noodle! Hearty Pasta Recipes for Busy Cooks

Lillian Russo's Chili Stroganoff

Egg noodles are one of my favorite staples to keep on hand. They store easily, are super versatile... and well, I'll admit it - I like their cute ribbon-y shape. I keep 'em in a vintage airtight container and they're my go-to grab when I'm experimenting with soups and sauces.

Because they're made with egg yolks, egg noodles have a slightly higher fat content than traditional pasta. But the way I look at it, that's just part of their allure. That bit of additional fat gives the noodles the hearty, silky texture that makes them so darn good in casseroles, stews and the like.

Lillian Russo was sure using her noodle when she decided to combine delicious chili with al dente egg noodles to perfect her Chili Stroganoff. Eating this dish is a celebration of both Eastern European and American Southwestern cuisines. "I found this recipe on the web, but I tweaked it so much that it became a new recipe!" says Lillian. "If you love chili and if you love beef stroganoff, you will love this recipe! It is so quick to make but it's very tasty and hearty."

Similarly, Betty Graves tweaked a classic Americana recipe for Tuna Noodle Casserole to make it her own. She truly elevates the all-American favorite by adding creamy cream cheese! The cheese replaces the more traditional canned cream soup as the crescendo ingredient in this recipe. Not only does it make for a creamier, thicker sauce, but it also adds a unique depth of flavor. "I like this recipe because it is made with cream cheese instead of cream of mushroom soup," says Betty. She also cautions that timing is key when working with cheese-based sauces like this. "Make sure the noodles are done before making sauce," she says. "The sauce gets too thick if it sits while waiting for noodles to cook. [Also] make sure the sauce is really creamy before baking. If not it will be too dry when it is baked. To make the sauce more creamy, add more milk to give it a good consistency."

Crafty cook Gary Hancq surprised even himself by how well his own egg noodling turned out. "WOW!.. It surpassed my expectations," says Gary of his delicious recipe for Beef Tips and Noodles. "You could serve this to your future mother and father in-law. I didn't tire of it right up through the second serving later that day."

So what is Gary's secret to success? Well, aside from plain tenacity in the kitchen, he has a great eye for ingredients. Not only does he use high quality rib eye in this dish, but he also uses kluski noodles, which are something of a Polish delicacy. The toothsome noodles are denser than average egg noodles. In our view, that equates to even more of a great thing. With a texture similar to German spaetzle, these tasty noodles transform Gary's dish into a hearty meal fit for any occasion.

Egg noodles are just one example of inexpensive, classic ingredients that add real substance to a wide variety of dishes. Whether you choose classic ribbons, Polish kluski or even the yolk-free version, these noodles are a must-have for any well-stocked pantry. Boil a pot of water, gather ingredients you have on hand and without fail you'll end up with a tasty meal in a snap.

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Elaine Radu - Apr 16, 2012
I love noodles.... especially the thick, hardy Polish ribbons. My mother made the world's best Romanian "Creamed Chicken and Noodle" one-pot meal.... I shall hunt up that Hale and Hearty recipe and share it with all here on Just a Pinch....Mother was a great cook; she passed on this recipe to her three daughters. "THANKS MOM"
adrian doner - Apr 11, 2012
i love egg noodles with cottage cheese and black pepper..
Lillian Russo - Mar 2, 2012
Thank you Dee! Yes, you are so right...he never complains about the North/South thing when he's eating my food! But he's such a sweetie so I don't get upset!

And speaking of sweetie's...Congrats to Betty and Gary for their recipes too! It's so nice to be on the same page as them!
Dee Stillwell - Mar 1, 2012
Congrats Lillian, my friend...making Janets Notebook is exciting and ur recipe looks awesome. Ur FIL prob knows there is good food comming from ur kitchen, so doesn't push the North - South Italian thing. LOL at least he better not if he wants to eat at ur house. : )

Also congrats to Betty & Gary on getting mentioned in Janet's notebook. WTG! : )
Bobbi Gulla - Feb 29, 2012
I've been eating egg noodles all my life! A few calories are worth it for the difference in taste & consistency. Ruffly or not, nooodles are a saple in our home at least twice a week. If you have to skimp carbs, do it elsewhere...
Misty Ali - Feb 29, 2012
When I want to make something quick I make hamburger patties with brown gravey over egg noodles. Love those egg noodles
Lillian Russo - Feb 29, 2012
Thank you so much Shelia! I hope you like it! =)

Thank you Kelly! It's so funny that you mention Sicily and N. Italy because its the opposite in my family! My FIL is from the north and my family is from the south! And according to him its like the Hatfield's and the McCoy's! I can't wait to tell him that there are Russo's in Sicily! He says Sicilian's are not Italian! But other than that, I get along very well with him! I just laugh!
Kelly Russo - Feb 28, 2012
My husband is from W. Babylon Long Island lol! I met him while teaching high school English in Buffalo, NY. Too funny!
Kelly Russo - Feb 28, 2012
Hello fellow Russo!! This looks like a great comfort dish! My husband is Siclian (Russo) and my family (Panaro) is N. Italian. Whenever I see a recipe for Macaroni/noodles of any kind I am all over it!! I love egg noodles because of their depth,firmness, yet creamy texture. I love stroganoff. My Mom is German/Irish, so I have had the best of both worlds growing up. Here is to a great comfort dish!!!
sheila farrah - Feb 28, 2012
Thanks Lilian for such a great looking recipe, can hardly wait to make it! Congat's once again, Seldom heard from Sheila
Lillian Russo - Feb 28, 2012
Thank you so much Janet, Sherri and Didi! And I'm so proud to have you as my friend too Sherri! You are one amazing lady!!! xoxoxo
Didi Dalaba - Feb 28, 2012
Congratulations Lillian!!! WTG my friend!!!
Sherri Williams - Feb 28, 2012
Congrats Lillie-Boo for your awesome noodle recipe. You rock. I'm so proud to call you my friend! ♥ya

Also congrats to Betty & Gary for your great recipes. sw☺
Kristin Guill - Feb 28, 2012
Egg noodles were always an Olson family favorite to serve with Swedish meatballs and gravy.