Recently, I started with Hungry Harvest, a produce delivery service that saves “undesirable” vegetables from the trash. To use up some of our vegetables, I made fresh beet pasta and a roasted vegetable salad. This recipe is a lot of hurry up and wait and then “Holy sh*t! Get the colander! It’s done cooking.” It was delish.
- 2 small beets or one medium beet (tennis-ball size)
- 2.5 cups of AP flour
- 5 jumbo eggs, separated (yolks only)
- 1 jumbo egg
- 1 tsp of salt
- Zest of one lemon
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- Peel and chop the beets into an 1” dice. Steam them until they are fork tender (30-ish minutes. Beets take a long time.)
- When the beets are done, reserve the steaming liquid and put the beets into a food processor and blend until smooth. I added some of the reserved steaming liquid to get a completely smooth, puréed consistency. Before making the pasta itself, make sure the beet purée is completely cooled, otherwise you’ll scramble some eggs. Not delicious.
- In the middle of a clean, floured surface, dump your flour and make a volcano with a 4” diameter opening. Put the egg yolks, egg (if you don’t have jumbo eggs, add in an extra, large egg yolk), salt, and 5 tbsp of the beet puree into the middle of the volcano and scramble together. It is going to look like a purple nightmare, but don’t worry, you’re doing it right.
- Once the beet and egg mixture looks like a horror movie, push the flour from the edges of the volcano into the egg mixture. Keep pushing the flour in and combining it with the egg. Do not panic if the egg mixture starts flowing out of the volcano like magma. Combine it with some flour and keep working it.
- As the dough comes together, it will feel less and less sticky. Keep pushing and kneading until it is firm, yet elastic. It should feel like a giant ball of new Play-Doh (not the gross stale stuff). Wrap it in plastic wrap and let it hang out on the counter for 30 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, make the sauce. It’s very simple. Combine the olive oil, lemon zest, garlic powder, lemon juice, and salt in a small bowl. Keep the goat cheese separate to be tossed with the pasta later.
- Once the dough has rested, cut off a small chunk (probably about 1/8 the total ball) and roll into a small ball with some flour. Flatten it slightly with your hand and roll it out slightly with a rolling pin. If you have a pasta machine, flour the machines and send the strip of dough through on the largest setting. Fold it in half and send it through two more times.
- Repeat up until you get to the second smallest setting. As you are cranking the dough out, make sure that you are gently guiding it out and keeping it floured. If the dough sticks to itself, you will be very sad because you’ll have to re-roll it.
- Once you have finished and have a long pasta strip, you can send it through the machine on the width you prefer. We did fettuccini, but whatever makes your heart happy. If you are feeling EXTRA, you can turn the long pasta strips into ravioli or another filled pasta. Live your best life.
- If you make fettuccini or any other long pasta, make sure to keep the noodles somewhat separated and floured. You don’t need to keep them in separate noodle strips, but if you don’t flour them, they will stick together and you’ll have to redo the process. Some recipes tell you to make them into nests for cooking.
- Fair warning: these suckers cook fast. Once you put them in the boiling water, have a colander ready. I cooked my pasta in batches so that they won’t get stuck together. Immediately toss them in olive oil so that your hard work is not for naught.
- After all of the pasta is cooked, dump it into a large bowl. Add in the dressing and crumble the goat cheese on top. Mix it up. Serve it. It would be extra delicious with some fresh herbs, but it’s winter.