This week, I challenged myself to make (and master) Pink Pasta using Beetroot. And if that wasn't challenging enough, I also decided to make Homemade Beetroot Pasta from Scratch!
Making Fresh Pasta had been on my "kitchen to-do" list for a while.
I learned how to make Pasta years and years ago while taking a cooking class with my brother. I got so carried away by the experience that had bought a pasta machine right after the class.
Truth: I probably used it twice. While great to impress your friends or family, I found that it was a LOT of work just to make spaghetti.
Fast forward 10 years (aka now), I keep seing fun, coloured pasta everywhere and therefore thought that making pasta like that could be worth getting the machine out again.
Fun fact: not only do I now live on the other side of the world, the Pasta Machine has also become a bit of a myth in my family as it completely disappeared a few years ago. Once in a while, my parents ask me if I'm sure I didn't bring it to Australia while my brother asks my parents if they are positive it's not hiding in the highest cupboard of the kitchen, but no… the disappearance of the Pasta Machine remains a mystery!
(update: the pasta machine has officially been found at my brother's !)
Big thanks to my future mother-in-law for lending me hers ;
Anyway, that was a lot of backstory to introduce the fact that I just felt like making Pink Pasta... Sorry for that!
What I will share with you today is a basic recipe for Beetroot Pasta and will especially show you three different ways to use it:
- Beetroot Ravioli
- Beetroot Tagliatelle
- Beetroot Gnocchi
The recipe itself is quite easy and you can decide to either simply make Tagliatelle or Spaghetti, or try something a bit more challenging like Ravioli and Gnocchi.
To be completely honest, I think I need to work on my Gnocchi-making skills a fair bit, but the taste is there!
Out of the three, the Gnocchis had the strongest beetroot taste, while the Tagliatelle's taste was the most subtle. Our favourite out of the 3 were probably the Beetroot Ravioli, that I filled with Ricotta, Goat Cheese and mint! Definitely a recipe to try...
How to make Beetroot Pasta Dough:
Fresh Beetroot Pasta 3-ways
- 2 Beetroot
- 2 Eggs
- 3 1/2 cups Plan Flour
- 1 pinch Salt
- Extra Flour to add during the kneading if required
- Preheat your oven at 200° and line a tray with baking paper
- Peal the Beetroots and cut them in 4.Wrap them in Foil and cook them for at least 30 minutes, or until soft inside.
Cutting them is not mandatory, but they will cook faster when in smaller pieces.
- Let the Beetroot cool down, then transfer into a Blender or Food Processor and mix with the Eggs until smooth.The Beetroots should now look like a thin puree.
- Place the Flour and Salt on your clean kitchen bench to create a mound.With your fingers, create a well in the centre of the mound.
- Gradually pour the Beetroot and Eggs puree into the well and start incorporating them with the flour. Start from the outside of the well and work you way to the outside of the mound, adding more of the Beetroot Puree when needed.
- Knead the dough with your hand and keep working it for a few minutes.Add more flour if the dough is sticky.
- When the dough is smooth and completely dry (doesn’t stick), cover it with a clean towel.I’ve read a fair bit about resting or not resting the dough and the opinions vary. I rested the dough, but as always recommend that you try either way and see what works best for you!
Now that you know how to make the Beetroot Dough, which of the Beetroot Pasta 3-ways will you choose to make?
1. Beetroot Tagliatelle
The easiest way to make Tagliatelle is to use a Pasta Machine.
They help you roll the dough very thinly, and you can also use a Tagliatelle or Spaghetti cutter addition to the Pasta Machine to automatically cut the Pasta the way you want.
Alternatively, you can also use a rolling pin and use your muscles!
Cut the dough is smaller pieces, knead them a bit separately to make sure they aren't sticky. Add more flour at this time if required.
Gradually roll the dough through the pasta machine, making it thiner each time.
I found that I had to add quite a bit of flour in between each round and had to take it really slowly to avoid creating holes in the dough.
A technique I remember from the class I took years ago was to roll the dough once, fold it in half, (add flour if required), turn 90° then pass it through the machine again. Repeat this process until you get the right consistency, then start reducing the thinness setting of the machine.
If your machine allows you to cut the dough into Tagliatelle, easy!
If not, simply use a knife to cut long strips of dough.
Toss the Tagliatelle with Flour to make sure they don't stick together.
Cook directly in boiling water (only a few minutes of cooking require), or cover with a towel until you use them.
2. Beetroot Ravioli
The process is the same than for the Tagliatelle.
To make Ravioli, you want long, rectangular sheets of dough.
Be careful with the thinness of the dough; if too thin, it will break once you add the filling but if too thick, it won't be that nice to chew.
Place one sheet of dough on a cutting board, put about a teaspoon of your choice of filling, making sure there is enough space in between each filling mound.
Cover the bottom dough with a second sheet. You want to make sure that the top dough rests well in between each filling mound and isn't hanging in between two mounds. Also try to remove all the air that could be trapped in between the two sheets.
Finally, if you have a Ravioli Cutter Stamp, simply position it over each mound and press the dough to cut it.
If you do not have a Stamp, you can use a circular cookie cutter to cut the ravioli, then use a fork to press the edges all around it.
I found it better to cook directly in boiling water because you don't want the filling to start wetting the dough.
3. Beetroot Gnocchis
Cut the dough into smaller balls.
Sprinkle flour over your kitchen bench, then roll each ball with your fingers and the palm of your hand to create a rope.
The thickness your give to the rope is up to you, however you do not want them too thin nor too thick. Cut the rope into little rectangles.
You can use a fork to create the typical "gnocchi pattern" but this is completely up to you. I kept them as small rectangle (or failed to master the "fork pattern", but lets stay positive!).
You can then either cook the Gnocchis directly in boiling water, or freeze them.