One of my favorite ways to spend a Sunday afternoon is rolling out fresh pasta dough. The process of mixing the elements by hand, kneading it together and rolling it into thin sheets is so satisfying.
Yesterday, I had the joy of teaching my first pasta making classes to help raise funds for our best friend’s adoption from India. We had two classes of people cozied up in my little kitchen and dining room, each rolling out their own ball of dough. It was so fun to watch people enjoy the process and work together to get to the finished fresh pasta. The conversation and experience was so much fun, and I cannot wait to host another class!
For the last few years I have been playing with how to use vegetables to create colors in my pasta doughs, Loving how you can turn simple yellow noodles into a vibrant dish. At the class I offered tomato paste, which created a vibrant orange color, and kale purée, which created a stunning speckled green pasta. I have tried beet greens as well, and am excited to also give carrot and beet purée a try!
If you have ever wanted to learn how to make pasta, here is my vegetable colored pasta recipe and detailed instructions to get started. You will need a manual pasta machine - I love my Marcato Atlas 150. This recipe makes enough pasta for two with plenty of left overs.
Plus, the amazing Iglika Patrova of Sprig of Thyme made an amazing dish of fresh noodles with chanterelle. She attended the class and was dreaming up this recipe while she rolled out dough - I cannot wait to make it as well!
100g. all-purpose flour
2 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp. olive oil
1 Tbs. vegetable purée* - kale, beets, carrots, beets greens or purchased tomato paste
*To create your own vegetable purée, boil any vegetable until completely soft - greens should take 10-15 minutes, beets and carrots 30-40 minutes. Strain you veggies, saving about a quarter cup of the water. Blend your veggies in a food processor until completely smooth, adding a little of the water to keep things moving if needed. Let purée come to room temp before adding to your pasta recipe. Freeze extra purée for the next time you make a batch of dough.
1. Measure out your flour and dump it as a mound onto a clean work surface.
2. Create a well in the middle of your ingredients, large enough to crack your eggs in. It is totally ok to see the work surface through your well.
3. Crack your eggs into the well, plus the 2tsp. Olive oil and 1 Tbs. vegetable purée. The olive oil helps to balance out the flavor so you don’t have an overly eggy dough.
4. This part gets messy, but bare with me and I promise you will have a ball of dough! Start by breaking the yokes with your fingers, then swirl the wet ingredients together using one hand, gently incorporating flour as you stir.
5. Keep swirling the center, slowly adding more and more flour. As the center starts to thicken and becomes more dough like, start to fold it on itself, pressing it into the remaining pile of flour. You will use all the flour on the surface so keep working the dough to incorporate all of the flour. Don’t worry about dough sticking to your hands - it will work it’s way off as you knead it.
6. Once your dough is in a ball, knead the dough just until the vegetable color is well incorporated and when you squeeze it, it springs back.
7. Cover your dough with plastic wrap and let rest for 20-30 minutes. This gives the gluten structure time to rest before you run it through the machine.
8. Now that your dough has rested, shape it into a log shape. Cut off a small portion from the end, leaving the rest of your dough log wrapped.
9. Pinch one end of the small piece of dough and with your pasta machine setting on zero, run the pasta through the machine. Once through, fold the sheet in half, and run it through again. Repeat the fold and roll through 4-5 times. You will want to have a square of smooth flat dough before the next step.
10. Now you will thin your pasta dough out to the desired thickness. Each machine is different, but I usually go between 5-7 thickness on my Atlas.
11. Once your sheet is to the desired thickness, you can use it for a range of things - lasagna noodles, making ravioli, tortellini, the list goes on! In this class, we cut our noodles using the linguine attachment. A tip I use for catching your cut linguine is to use a wooden spoon to drape the noodles over, then drape them onto a drying wrack.
12. For cooking noodles, bring 4 quarts of water and 2Tbs. Of sea salt to a rolling boil. Drop in all of your pasta at once, stirring frequently at first so the noodles don’t stick to the bottom or each other. Let boil 4-5 minutes until el dente. Toss in your favorite sauce.
13. If you want to keep your pasta, you can leave your pasta to dry for about 5-6 hours. Make sure it is fully dry, but not brittle before storing. It is a tricky thing to figure out - I usually wait until a few noodles break off the drying stand, then bag it up. If you wait too long, they can get over dry and brittle to the touch Store in a gallon bag or glass jar on the counter for up to 1 month.