Today I have a gorgeous recipe for you, beet pasta. I love beets, when they are in season I use and abuse them. How can I not, they are so sweet and very versatile too, just look at this pasta. Isn’t this color beautiful?
A lot of people are intimidated by pasta making, like everything else, it needs practice but it is incredibly easy to make. I’ve been meaning to post a pasta dough recipe for a while now (long over due, I would say), finally, I made my move and here it is. Trust me, there is no reason to fear homemade pasta. Actually, it’s a rather satisfying process and the outcome is gratifying.
If you are not crazy about beets like I am, simply leave them out for a basic pasta recipe. Better yet, replace the beets for blanched, well drained spinach for a gorgeous spinach pasta. Fresh pasta cooks really fast, a couple of minutes is all it takes which is perfect for entertaining, just have your sauce ready. Speaking of the sauce, I happened to have on hand braised kale, so I simply sautéed a couple of spicy Italian sausages then I added the braised kale, cooked it for a couple of minutes then mixed in the pasta. Out-of-this-world-good!
(about 4 servings)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 small beets
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp salt
Wrap the beets in foil and cook them on a 450˚F preheated oven, for 40 minutes or until done. Let them cool then peel and cube them. Place the beets on a blender with the whole eggs, egg yolk, oil and salt. Puree until smooth. Place the flour in a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the beet puree and mix on low speed until fully incorporated. The dough should not be wet, if it is, add a tablespoon more of flour (I did not need to add more flour).
Once the dough is incorporated, knead it by hand (I know what you are thinking but this is the best way) knead the dough for about 10 minutes or until it turns smooth and elastic. Place the dough in an lightly oiled bowl, cover it well and let it rest for 1 hour at room temperature. When ready, roll out the dough according to your pasta machine’s manufacture’s instructions. If you don’t have a pasta machine, you can roll it out by hand with a rolling pin. Make sure to flour the pasta very well after you cut it to prevent from sticking. To cook the pasta, boil it in salted water for 2 minutes. Serve it with your favorite sauce.
Note: If you are making this pasta without the beets (basic pasta), the dough will seem too dry but that is ok, the more you knead it, the smoother it will get.
Beet pasta with kale and spicy Italian sausages
As I mention above, I had about 3 cups of braised kale, I will share the recipe but it might be too much for this recipe, use what you need and keep the rest.
1 bunch of kale, steam discarded
and leaves coarsely chopped
4 tomatoes, diced
1 small red onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
4 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions and cook for 4 minutes then add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the tomatoes, stir well and cook for 5 minutes. Add the kale, stir well and cook for 5 minutes more. Finally add the vegetable stock, salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Check once in a while to see if it has enough liquid.
For the final dish:
½ pound spicy Italian sausage (or sweet), casing removed.
3 cups of braised kale
Parmigiano, Grana Padano or Pecorino Romano for serving
Place the sausage in a pan and cook until browned (break the sausage down to small pieces with a spoon). Once ready, add the kale and let it cook for 2 minutes then toss in the pasta, serve immediately.