Fresh Pasta Dough and Other Two-Ingredient Recipes

You won’t believe how easy it is to make these delicious foods

Sometimes the simplest recipes are also the most delicious.

There’s a common misconception amongst home cooks that good food (and the good recipes behind it) are complicated. If a recipe doesn’t call for a lot of ingredients, give copious and detailed instructions, or advise you to use a special method that only a pro would know, then it must not be very special. Surprisingly, this isn’t true; some of the tastiest foods are also the simplest to make. With as few as two ingredients (plus an occasional dash of salt or drizzle of oil), you can make something that is truly delicious and, in some cases, downright impressive.

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Cooking involves a lot of science and, while it’s not necessary to understand the chemistry behind every recipe, knowing a few tricks can help you cook and bake using fewer ingredients. Self-rising flour (flour that has salt and baking powder added to it) is a perfect example; using self-rising flour in baking instead of all-purpose flour can makes it possible to mix certain doughs and quick breads without lots of ingredients. The baking powder in the mix can even provide enough rise that you’ll be able to make a delicious pizza or flatbread without the use of yeast.

Eggs are also useful in a number of ways. The average egg is about 74 percent water and 11 percent fat, so it can provide both moisture and richness to recipes that only call for a handful of ingredients — think about how soft and flavorful fresh pasta dough is despite being made from just flour and egg. And, because the proteins in the eggs form bonds as they’re heated, eggs can help create and maintain shape and texture in custards and baked goods.

It’s not all about science, though. Cooking is about flavor, too (two-ingredient recipes included). When you’re thinking about making a recipe with fewer ingredients, choose one that calls for flavorful ingredients like salty Parmigiano-Reggiano or sweet dried fruit or bananas. That way, whatever you create will be as delicious as it is easy-to-make!

While we’re all about experimenting and trying new things in the kitchen, we also have a few reliable two-ingredient recipes to help get you started.

Drop Biscuits

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This is one recipe where self-rising flour comes in handy. The baking powder that’s mixed into the flour is activated both by the buttermilk and by the heat of the oven, helping the biscuits puff up as they bake. Simply add buttermilk (substitute heavy cream if you don’t have buttermilk on hand) to self-rising flour until the mixture can be dropped by large spoonfuls onto a parchment-lined sheet pan and then bake the biscuits in the a 425-degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until done. If you prefer to roll and cut your biscuits, just add less liquid so that you have stiffer dough.


(Credit: Shutterstock)
Who knew you could make a tasty stack of flapjacks using just 2 whisked eggs and a large, mashed banana? Once you combine the two, cook them in a skillet over medium heat. If you feel like using a few extra ingredients, a pinch or two of baking powder will make the pancakes lighter and fluffier.


This article was originally published December 10, 2014.

Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.