If you've never made homemade pasta before, this is a great beet-boosted take on fettuccine. Fresh pasta is a lot less time-intensive than you might think (really!). You knead the dough by hand, and you cut the pasta dough into fettuccine noodles in one of two ways - by hand, or with a pasta machine. The pasta machine is more precise, but there is a lot of charm in hand-cut noodles - both are special.
I love this beet juice-spiked fettuccine, the beets lend a beautiful pink color, and you can play around with how pale or saturated your noodles are by adding more or less beet juice. You can, of course, substitute other liquids, or use yellow (or orange) beets. If you have success with these noodles, use the recipe as a jumping off point for other flavors.
A couple of tips - don't skimp on the kneading time. You want a silky, even-textured dough before wrapping it, and then letting it rest (and hydrate) a bit.
One detail to emphasize here, I call for semola flour here (different from semolina) - semola is fine, powdery and talc-like durum wheat, semolina is often coarser. I blend it with either whole wheat pastry flour, or finely ground rye flour here.
You can enjoy the noodles in endless ways. They are beautiful in a simple broth with herbs. We had them for lunch topped with lots of sautéed mushrooms, a splash of cashew milk, poppy seeds, scallions, toasted walnuts, and a big squeeze of lemon.
Simple Beet Fettuccine
As I note up above, I call for semola flour here (different from semolina) - semola is fine, powdery and talc-like durum wheat, semolina is often coarser. I blend it with either whole wheat pastry flour, or finely ground rye flour here.
- 150 g rye flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- 160 g semola flour
- 1 egg, whisked
- 3 tablespoons red beet juice
- 1/3 - 1/2 cup water
You can make the dough in a bowl, or directly on a countertop. If you start in a bowl, you'll end up turning out the dough onto a counter for kneading later. So! Start by combining the flours. Add the egg, and work it into the flour a bit. Add the beet juice, and stir to combine. Gradually add the water a splash at a time, you only want to use enough to get the dough to come together into a dryish mass. If you're not already working on a counter, turn the dough out and start kneading. You can add a bit more water now and then, if the dough is too dry. Knead for 7-10 minutes, just really go for it, until the pasta dough is silky and cohesive. Wrap tightly in plastic, or place in a sandwich bag for at least 30 minutes.
At this point either roll the pasta out thinly with a rolling pin or pasta machine (I go to 3 on the Atlas). You'll need a well-floured surface if you're rolling the dough out by hand, and you'll want to keep the pasta nicely floured as well, so it doesn't stick to itself. To cut the dough into fettuccine, loosely fold/roll the dough into a cylinder, and cut with a sharp knife. Alternately, you can run the dough though the fettuccine cutter on your pasta machine.
Cook in lots of well-salted boiling water for just a minute, these noodles cook quickly! Use in your favorite broth, or toss with your favorite sauce.