Friday, August 2, 2013

Rainbow Pasta

I was recently at a deli with the family and Miss 3 was quite fascinated by some colourful pasta we saw.  But it was super expensive, and of course I told her I could make it for MUCH cheaper than that. So I did!

Now first of all, I have to put out a disclaimer that this is a Thermomix recipe.  I have been lucky enough to borrow my neighbour's machine a bit recently, and WOW!  I'm super impressed!  Things like breads and doughs are so easy, I've also loved making soups, batters, jams and so much more, this thing really is amazing.

Anyway, pasta dough was soooo easy in the thermo.  And it was really easy to blend up the colours with it.  Of course, you could always do it by hand or in a food processor.

I found the actual rolling out of the dough fairly time consuming, and I wished I had another pair of hands (and the kids lost interest pretty fast!)  I borrowed my mum's pasta maker, and the rollers are just not very sharp, so I had a bit of trouble trying to separate my strands.  But despite those technical issues, I loved the result!

I love that it was coloured with vegetables, with no added nasties, and I kept it super simple, just mixing through a home-made pasta sauce (in the Thermomix of course!) and sprinkling with parmesan cheese to serve.

It was a big hit, and this recipe made HEAPS!  If I was to make pasta again, I'd do it on the weekend, when I have more time and/or some help, because it would make the process a whole lot easier.

Anyway, the kids love it - give it a go!

(You know you'll vegetables will be fresh & bright for that natural colour if you get them from Charlie's)

Ingredients (serves 6-8)
150g pumpkin, roasted
100g frozen spinach, thawed, with excess water squeezed out OR fresh spinach, steamed & drained
4 baby beetroots, roasted & peeled
3 eggs
300g baker's flour, plus about 200g extra
1 tablespoon olive oil

Place the pumpkin in the thermomix bowl with 1 egg.  Mix for 10 seconds/speed 8.  Scrape down the sides, and mix for a further 5 seconds/speed 8.

Add 100g of the flour, along with 1/3 of the oil and mix 15 seconds/speed 5.  Check the consistency - because of the added vegetables, you'll probably need to add more flour.  You don't want the dough too sticky, so don't be shy about adding more flour.  It shouldn't be sticky to touch.  Knead for 2 minutes (use the kneading function).  Remove from bowl and wrap in cling wrap.

Wash the bowl and repeat the process with the spinach, then with the beetroot.

Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes (or you can leave it in the fridge for a few days).

Divide each colour into 4 balls.  Pass through a pasta machine until thin, then through the spaghetti or fettuccine function.  Again, add more flour if necessary - sticky pasta will go gluggy.  As you can see in the photo below, I put a broom between two chairs and hang the pasta over as I go.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil.  Drop in the pasta, in batches (stick to one colour at a time so it doesn't run).  Cook for about 2 minutes or until al dente (fresh pasta doesn't need long!)

Drain and toss together when it's all cooked.  Stir through a pasta sauce, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve.

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