Tuesday, 15 January 2013
Pappardelle alla Barbabietola con Formaggio di Capra e Verdurine (Pink Beetroot Pappardelle Pasta with Goat's Cheese and Baby Leaves)
It's cold outside, My house and garden are covered in snow... so much white, I felt like cooking something summery and full of colour.
Beetroot is everywhere...all over the shops a fashionable ingredient, you would say! But, with its distinct "earthy" flavour it's not an easy one to cook with!
But Anna remembers her mamma boiling enormous beetroot for what seemed hours, in water and vinegar. How she disliked the smell of earth which filled the house as the roots cooked in the big pot of Fuchsia pink water and how she disliked peeling the "things" and getting her fingers a very bright shade of shocking pink!
But she loved being in the kitchen with Mamma Rosa and she would happily stand on a stool, carefully placed under the table, and get her hands "dirty" if it meant spending "cooking time" in the kitchen with her beautiful mother.
Once cooked and peeled (by me!) the beetroot was preserved in vinegar, and mamma would use it in salad, sliced, and simply dressed with olive oil, salt, chopped garlic and parsley.
I created the recipe below for a competition (even the fresh beetroot pasta recipe is mine) and I must say, it works. This dish is, to me, the equivalent of a box full of flavours, colours and textures totally Mediterranean)
Pappardelle alla Barbabietola con Formaggio di Capra e Verdurine
( Pink Beetroot Pappardelle Pasta with Soft Goat's Cheese and Baby Leaves. Very pink and beautiful!)
Pappardelle alla Barbabietola
con Formaggio di Capra e Verdurine
(Pink Beetroot Pappardelle Pasta
with Goat's Cheese and Baby Leaves)
For the pasta:
200 g Plain Flour
One medium sized Beetroot boiled, peeled
pinch of salt
For the Sauce:
Six tablespoons of Olive Oil
Two cloves of Garlic
Half a red Chilli Pepper
Mixed baby leaves
65 g of soft Goat's cheese
A few cubes of diced Beetroot for garnish
Pinch of salt
Before you start, puree your boiled and peeled beetroot. Make sure you get a really creamy, blended texture-no bits! Next, place the flour on a clean surface make a well in the centre and place your pureed beetroot in the middle, with a large pinch of salt. Gradually incorporate the two ingredients. If the mixture seems too dry, add a small amount of warm water. You should get a firm, but soft dough.
Divide the dough in two pieces, roll each one out until it is 3 mm thick. With the help of a knife, cut your pasta into long strips 3 cm wide. Then, starting at the top, cut diagonally, to obtain diamond shaped pasta (Pappardelle.)
Heat some water in a pan and add some salt. When the water comes to the boil add your pasta. While your pasta is cooking, make the sauce. Place the oil in the frying pan and when the oil is really hot add your finely chopped cloves of garlic. Once the garlic is golden, add some sliced chilli pepper and a handful of baby leaves. Stir to mix the ingredients and take off the heat, as the vegetables should be warm, and firm.
Next, drain your pasta and add to the frying pan with the other ingredients. Blend everything together very gently.
Serve on a plate with another handful of uncooked baby leaves, some diced beetroot (boiled and peeled) and the diced Goat's cheese. Finally, drizzle with a few drops of Balsamic vinegar and olive oil over the dish, to add extra flavour.
If you scroll down, you will also notice the beautiful salad I made by cooking a couple of beetroot in half water and half vinegar. This process took about one hour. I peeled the cooked beetroot and diced, to make a wonderful salad, by adding olive oil, salt, mixed baby salad leaves and pink peppercorns. Just beautiful and fresh!