You Can’t Beet Love

17 Jan

Making Pink Pasta

It’s almost Valentine’s Day!! Make it fun and low key. Get your veggies in while eating your pasta too!

From Edible Marin & Wine Country winter 2011 Photos: Matthew Carden

Kids adore pasta, so what better way to share the love this Valentine’s Day than making homemade pasta together? Coloring it PINK—naturally, using beets— will make it a special Valentine’s Day treat, and get them to eat their veggies, too! You don’t have to be an Italian nana to make pasta at home. It couldn’t be easier, and you and your kids will be thrilled with your accomplishment.

Once you color your pasta pink, you might be inspired to create other red and pink foods for your kids to explore. Serve marinara sauce with your pink pasta. Use a cookie cutter to make heart-shaped tomato-flavored tortillas for quesadillas. Use edible markers to draw red hearts on hard-boiled eggs. Bake a pink angel food cake to serve with strawberry ice cream. For a pink drink, add cherry juice to homemade lemonade. You can also make your own placemats and other decorations using pink or red wrapping paper. Make this an “edible-y” pink Valentine’s Day!

Can’t “Beet” it Pasta!

Pasta Drying

Pasta Drying

Serve this with lots of fresh veggies to create a rainbow on your plate.

Yield: 4 child-sized servings

Ingredients

1 meduim red beet, peeled and diced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon table salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons semolina flour, plus extra for dusting

1 large egg, at room temperature

To prepare beet pureé, place beet pieces in a small pot and add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook until very tender, about 10 minutes.

Drain, reserving liquid.

Add salt and olive oil to drained beets and blend with a stick blender or in a small food processor. Purée until the mixture is a very smooth paste. Set aside.

To prepare pasta dough

In a small bowl, add flour, semolina flour and egg and mix with a fork until the egg disappears.

Add 1⁄3 cup of the beet purée and work this in with the fork until fully incorporated.

You will likely have some loose flour remaining in the bowl, which is OK. Place the dough and the extra flour on a cutting board. Knead with the palm of your hand until all the flour has been incorporated. If the dough is sticky, you may need to add a bit more flour (a little at a time) to reach the desired consistency. Be careful not to add too much flour so that the pasta dough becomes dry. Continue to knead the dough until it springs back when poked with a finger. Now the dough needs a “nap.” Wrap the dough ball in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator from 1 to up to 24 hours.

Rolling and cutting the pasta

If you do not have a pasta machine, a rolling pin works just fine here. Divide the dough ball into quarters and place the quarters, 1 at a time, on a well floured board or countertop. Keep the unused dough covered until you are ready to roll it out. Roll out the dough as thin as possible (it will thicken when cooked). Using a sharp knife or scissors, cut the pasta into long strips, about ½ inch wide. After cutting, toss the strips of pasta lightly with the semolina flour to prevent sticking.

To cook and serve

Cook the pasta immediately in salted, boiling water (the water you reserved from boiling the beets adds extra color) for approximately 2–3 minutes, drain and serve with your favorite sauce or simply butter or olive oil and salt and pepper. If you are not going to cook and eat the pasta immediately, you can dry the strips by hanging them over a wooden spoon or other suitable, clean surface (the back of a chair or oven handle also works well). Don’t allow the pasta strips to touch each other until they are thoroughly dried or they will stick together.

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2 Responses to “You Can’t Beet Love”

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pink and Green Ravioli Made Easy « Playful Pantry - February 3, 2012

    […] “Yes people, more pink pasta…can you really have too much pink?” My last post on Pink Pasta was a bit more complicated, this one is […]

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