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Beet Pasta

Posted Oct 05 2009 10:03pm

P1012787 My CSA share is continuing to provide endless amusement. Every Monday I find myself giddy with curiousity about what I might find. I still haven’t come to terms with the fact that this is the last month of my share.  I especially love watching the offerings change from June to October.  The selection has gone from tender greens and garlic scapes to Concord grapes and yams.  We get so used to having grapes and yams year round that it can be easy to forget they have a season.  One thing I’ve enjoyed having all season long has been beets.  It’s amazing how in some summer I’ve gone from being a relative stranger to beets to looking for excuses to cook for them.  I’ve been a bit behind in using up my weekly share of produce so I almost always have a stray bunch of beets or two in the crisper drawer.

On to the recipe at hand.  As I mentioned above, I’ve had a bunch of beets sitting in my refrigerator for quite some time.  It wasn’t that I was at a loss for what to make, it was that I had an exact recipe in mind, but was always failing to have the prep time needed.  My recipe of choice: Beet Pasta.  I’m a bit of a carb queen so I look for any excuse to make fresh pasta.  Beyond loving the taste of it, I also adore the feel of making it.  There is nothing like kneading a dough together to work out your frustrations and remind you messing around with Play Doh as a child.  (In my case I was addicted to making my own using a recipe I got from a cookbook for kids.  Perhaps one of my earliest kitchen creations, albeit NOT edible.)  Yep, I love slapping, punching and rolling my dough along the granite counter top before running it through my pasta maker to yield an unfathomably thin sheet of pasta.  This pasta is unique because a it includes a beet puree which turns it a delightful shade of light red.  Unfortunately like a lot of pastas tinted by vegetables it has only the slightest hint of beet flavor so it’s really more for looks than anything else, but that doesn’t stop it from being fun. It still is a great recipe to make if you’ve roasted a whole bunch of beets and have one or two stragglers hanging around.  I rolled out 1/2 the pasta and tossed it when cooked with Chevre and pistachios for a simple meal.  The rest is safely tucked away in my freezer awaiting a reappearance sometime soon.  I’m thinking it would be fun to make another batch around Valentine’s Day for some romantic red heart-shaped ravioli.

Beet Pasta
Yields 12 3-inch by 12-inch pieces of pasta
Adapted from The New Lasagna Cookbook
-1 cup all purpose flour
-1 cup whole wheat flour
-Pinch of salt
-1/2 cup egg whites
-2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
-1/2  cup pureed roasted beets (about 1 large beet)
In a large bowl, stir together the flours and salt until well combined. Make a well in the center and add the egg whites, oil, and pureed beets. Using a wooden spoon or your fingers work the liquid and dry ingredients together until you have a well defined ball of dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 5 minutes before rolling out into desired shape. Pass through your pasta machine as per its instructions, dusting with flour as needed.
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