Saturday, June 12, 2010

Beet Tinted Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce

(2 servings; double or triple this recipe for more)

I make this when tomatoes are in season. It's one of those weekend type dishes for me where I chop a few things up in the morning and then get back to making the rest of it later in the day.

This dish is fine without cheese and I don't really miss it.  If you'd like to add some cheese though, I do think a bit of crumbled goat cheese might be nice in this.

Don't worry about the beet powder if you can't find any. I happened to notice some in the bulk spice section the other day, and brought some home. I also used yellow and orange tomatoes. What can I say, I love seeing different colours on my plate.

tomato sauce
2 medium tomatoes, chopped (about 1- 1 1/3 cups)
1 tbsp fresh herbs, chopped, (parsley, chives, mint, dill; anything you have on hand and like)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and allow to sit for a few hours.

beet pasta
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour, (or use 50/50 unbleached flour and semolina flour)
1 tbsp beet powder, (optional)
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 large egg
1-3 tbsp water

Place 1 1/4 cup flour, beet powder and salt into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to combine.

Add the egg and 1 tablespoon of water to start. Pulse a few times. If the mixture seems too dry, sprinkle a bit more water over the mixture.

The dough should have the consistency of fresh bread crumbs, and be moist enough to stick together if you gather a small amount and gently squeeze it together. Some people add enough water until the dough forms a ball inside the bowl, but I prefer mine to be somewhat dryer. If I have added too much water and get a ball, I add a bit more flour until the ball breaks up again.

by hand

Gather up the dough and knead for a few minutes on a lightly floured surface until you have a smooth ball. Cover and allow to rest for about 20 minutes.

Roll out and cut as desired

with pasta (crank) machine

Gather a small handful of dough and squeeze together. Flatten the piece and run it through the pasta machine at the widest setting. Fold and pass through a few more times, tightening the setting each time. This helps develop the gluten.

When you have the desired thickness, run it through the cutter.

Repeat, until the dough mixture is used up.

Drop the pasta into lightly salted boiling water, and cook for 2-4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pasta.

Drain and toss the pasta with the tomato sauce. Serve.


Viv said...

That is such a beautiful colour! I've never coloured my pasta before and might give it a try soon ;)

Gerlinde in Washington said...

Yes, the colour is quite wonderful. I've also had good results tinting pasta by adding a bit of saffron for a lovely golden hue.

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