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Difference Between Egg noodles and Pasta

pastaEgg noodles vs Pasta

The majority of people have a passion for the numerous varieties of pasta, which includes egg noodles, and the traditionally-identified pasta. There are so many varieties, sauces that are used on them, and dishes in which they are prepared, that the thought leaves most our mouths watering. The interesting item is that most people don’t know that there is a difference between these two wonderful foods. This article is going to point out some of the differences between egg noodles and pasta. It will identify the following:


Egg noodles are made of unleavened dough that is cooked in boiling water. Generally, egg noodles are made with eggs and wheat, or rice flour. Sometimes arrowroot or tapioca starches are added to enhance the texture and uniformity of the strands. In most cases, the egg noodle batter is made, and allowed to dry for a period of time, before actually using them to prepare a specific dish.

Pasta is also made of unleavened semolina dough, of either wheat or buckwheat, that is cooked in boiling water, and, in some cases, vegetables are added to the dough.


There are many varieties of egg noodles, and the sizes vary from country to country. Egg noodles are typically long flat strips of dough. Generally, the Chinese and Japanese noodles are long, wide, flat strips of dough, where the German variety is shorter, thicker, and much smaller.

Unlike egg noodles that are typically flat, pastas come in various lengths, sizes, and shapes. Many times, pastas are filled with meats, cheeses, and other vegetables, and are generally served with a sauce. Some of the shapes include spaghetti and angel-hair, (long dowel-like rods), macaroni, (which can be in the shape of shells or tubes), lasagna, (which are long, wide sheets), fusilli, (which are twirled and shorter), farfalle, (bow ties), and rigatoni, (which are larger hollow tubes).


It is generally accepted that egg noodles originated in China, between 25 and 200 AD; although the Arabs and Italians also claim that they invented this wonderful staple food. In October of 2005, at the Lajia site in Qinghai, China, the oldest known strip of egg noodle was discovered. It appeared to be about 4000 years old, and was made of broomcorn and foxtail millet.

As for the origination of pasta, no one has really determined exactly when or who first made this wonderful concoction. The Talmud records a similar food that was common in Palestine during the third century; however, the Greek physician, Galen, identified a comparable material in the second century. Even further back in the first century, Horace described tasty sheets of dough that were fried. As they continue to excavate the ruins in Egypt, they may find evidence that pasta has been around for even longer than what they thought.


1. Egg noodles are typically long flat strips of dough, while pasta comes in a variety of shapes.

2. Egg noodles originated in China, while the origin of pasta is not certain.

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  1. This article hit upon many points but did not consider why a cook would want to use one or the other form of noodle. This was the information I was looking for and did not find here.

    • Right. But I think of the matter from a nutritional and ‘meal’ point of view. Pasta is just an attractive, molded twist on a real staple (i.e. wheat), making it easier to just boil and serve cooked with some sauces and spices, veggies, meats and/or cheese in some form.

      It’s a vehicle much like pizza dough, one that definitely calls for something to embellish it with without which it’d much lack in flavor, nutritional value and wouldn’t really fill someone up anyway.

      With pasta out of the way, add egg and perhaps milk to the mix of wet pasta dough and you have gotten egg noodles. Personally though I think this is a very specialized portion of a meal and has some value of its own due to the extra protein (egg) mixed in to start with. These could very well be shaped in the form of spaghetti or other ‘flat’ shapes and serve as vehicles for other toppings, like veggie stir fry and maybe even oriental dishes like mongolian beef or such. But things that are either sides or main dishes like chicken lo mein/chow mein can do very well with egg noodles in place of pasta.

      Just my two cents’ worth. The rest is preference, really. 😉

      • I also was also looking for more on this – My chicken soup recipe calls for “eggless noodles. There must be a reason why. Would it have to do with texture/composition? Do eggless noodles hold up better in the chicken broth? Thank you.

  2. i thought pasta originated in italy…

  3. I love egg noodles. I never have seen them as actual pasta because the making of the material isn’t like spaghetti or anything like that dough at all… I use it with butter and homemade chicken broth. It helps when you are sick and its a good substitute for people with Celtic disease

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