Spending the entire day in the kitchen is a luxury I truly relish. It’s my chance to play with food, get creative and have fun. Plus, I find it very therapeutic and a wonderful way to relax and unwind from the stress of the workweek.
One thing I have wanted to devote some time to is to learn how to make is multi-colored pasta. I admit this is an indulgent undertaking as coloring the pasta adds little to no flavor, but I love how colorful it looks. I strive to make dishes that are not only tasty, but also visually appealing. Yes, I could have made the ravioli with plain dough, but how much more festive and attention grabbing is this colored pasta? And, isn’t appropriately reminiscent of the Italian flag?
The recipe I adapted to make this pasta is from the blog, Home Cooking in Montana. (Isn’t the ravioli Ellie made is stunning?) Unlike that recipe, I used two different methods to apply color to the basic pasta dough. I did not have beet powder so I had to use beet purée to make the red pasta. I boiled one small beet until tender, peeled and puréed it, and whisked about 2 teaspoons of it with the egg I used to make the pasta dough. I had to add a little more purée as I kneaded the dough to achieve the exact shade of red I wanted. Start with just a small amount of color since it’s easy to add more, if needed. For the green pasta, I incorporated almost a whole tablespoon of spinach powder – dried ground spinach, which, is made primarily for coloring pasta – into the flour I used to make the pasta dough.
Since this was my first attempt and I wasn’t sure how easily the colors would incorporate into the dough, I made three separate batches, instead of one batch as directed in the original recipe. I made one full recipe of plain pasta dough and half recipes of each of the two colors. Making these striped pasta turned out to be fairly easy, but took a little time and patience. First, I rolled each batch of dough to about ¼” thickness using a rolling pin, then stacked them on top of each other. As you can see, the thickness of the dough at this stage determined the width of the colored stripes in the finished pasta.
Next, I sliced a piece from the stack about 1/8″ thick and ran it through the pasta machine several times at progressively narrower settings. The dough in the foreground of the photo above is the result after one pass through the machine at its widest setting. From there I rolled the dough twice at each setting, making the dough thinner and longer after each pass. I stopped at the second to last setting because I didn’t want the dough to be too thin and fragile.
I love the consistency of this dough. It came together well and had a nice smooth feel. In addition to the ravioli, I was also able to make some beautiful fettuccine.
Aside from using puréed beets instead of beet powder and making three separate batches, I followed Ellie’s recipe exactly as found in her blog, Home Cooking in Montana, so I won’t be reprinting it here. Thanks for sharing your recipe, Ellie!
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