The best thing about making your own fresh egg pasta is not only the superior taste and texture but the fact that you can be creative and experiment with different shapes and colours. Don’t worry if you don’t have a pasta maker, you can get away without one, simply use a rolling pin and a bit of muscle. Also a good way to destress!
If you have picky eaters at home it can be an easy way to sneak in some extra nutrition. Spinach, carrots, pumpkins or beetroot are just some of the vegetables you can use to turn dinner into a multi-coloured pasta fest. The method is simple-just add pre-cooked vegetables to the dough and then use to make spahetti, tagliatelle or whatever shape takes your fancy.
Timings: Allow plenty of prep time if making the pasta without help of machines. Once made, pasta then needs to rest for half an hour before cooking. The good news is that the pasta itself cooks in seconds.
- 200gms fine pasta flour. (“00”)
- 1 large or two small free range eggs.
- 60 grams of cooked beetroot
- salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Carefully blend peeled beetroot in a food processor to a smooth paste, making sure you use a lid so as not to splatter your walls with red beetroot juice!
- Add egg and pinch of salt and blend well.
- Add sieved flour and mix together until the dough starts to form in small lumps.
- Turn out dough onto a clean table-top and press the dough together, kneading until it becomes smooth and round. The beetroot should have made the dough quite moist, but if it feels dry add a few drops of chilled water, half a teaspoon at a time. If, on the other hand, the dough is too wet, dust with a little pasta flour and knead until it feels soft and pliable.
- Place in a small bowl to rest for half an hour. Cover with a clean tea towel to stop it drying out.
- Then, starting with about a third of the dough, roll it out until it is the required density (about 1mm thick). Make sure you cover the rest of the pasta whilst doing this to stop it drying out.
- If you don’t have a pasta machine you can always lay out the sheets on a floured surface and use a sharp knife to cut strips about 2 cms wide.
- Hang to dry on wire coat hangars for a few minutes.
- If serving with a sauce, make your sauce at this stage as the pasta needs only seconds to cook.
- For a simple creamy sauce, click on the Pasta Roses recipe.
- Once sauce is ready cook the pasta by plunging it into a pot of boiling salted water for about 15 seconds. It should now taste “al dente.”
- Drain and serve.
Did you know that:
- beetroot is part of the spinach and chard family?
- that the leaves can be eaten and cooked in the same way as spinach or chard?
- it’s delicious roasted in the oven with a little olive oil or grated raw in salads.
Health and beauty :
- beetroot helps to eliminate toxins and water retention and is good for maintaining young looking skin.
- scientific tests have shown that it can help prevent cancer and heart disease.
- high in folic acid, beetroot is also recommended during pregnancy and for the menopause as it helps keep up oestrogen levels.
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