By Melissa Clark, The New York Times

Long before my ancestors ever met macaroni and cheese or a plate of spaghetti, noodles with cottage cheese was the pasta comfort food in my Brooklyn Ashkenazi Jewish family.

Called “lokshen mit kaese” in Yiddish, it’s an Eastern European dish of homemade egg noodles tossed with butter or sour cream and some kind of curdy white cheese. There are versions topped with fried onions and loads of black pepper; others sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.

In “The Book of Jewish Food,” Claudia Roden explains that noodles came to German Jews from Italy in the Middle Ages, via trade and rabbinical connections. Making homemade noodles for the Sabbath chicken soup, she writes, was “a cornerstone of feminine dexterity.”

My grandmother Lily, not a paragon of culinary dexterity, bought her egg noodles at Waldbaum’s. Her lokshen mit kaese was like an unbaked kugel, the hot noodles and cheese tossed with raisins, cinnamon and melted butter. Usually she preferred farmer cheese, which is dry and crumbly like feta. But I liked it best with creamy, tangy cottage cheese, which she stocked up on whenever Waldbaum’s had a sale.