Pasta: A Five Part Series. Part 2: Colors

Hey Foodies!

Welcome back! I hope you’re having a wonderful week, enjoying the autumn weather. What have you been cooking since the season changed? Maybe a nice chicken and wild rice soup? What’s your favorite fall ingredient? Mine is butternut squash. I have a great recipe for a butternut squash soup that I plan to post within the next week or two. What is autumn like where your from? Here in Qatar it’s just as hot as summer in Minnesota. I’m finding myself wishing I was back in Minneapolis in warm sweaters and boots. What does fall mean for you? For me, fall is a time to start fresh and refocus. Let me know!

But enough about the greatest season of all time, let’s get into it! If you read my post earlier this week, you already know what’s up. Nice! If not, welcome to part two of my five-part series on pasta. This post is going to be completely dedicated to how to color pasta with fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

 

A Note On Picking Your Produce

First things first let’s talk about how to pick the best possible produce to dye your pasta. When you’re deciding what produce you want to use to color your pasta, think about these three things, taste, color, and water content. If you hate the way cilantro tastes, I wouldn’t suggest using cilantro to color your pasta. The flavor of your color agent isn’t going to completely change the flavor of your pasta, but it will slightly alter it. As far as color goes, think about the fact that you’ll be mixing it with yellow (egg yolks) and then white (flour). Whatever you choose will be slightly augmented and then dulled down. Think about highly pigmented produce, things that leave stains on your hands, like beets, blueberries, or herbs. Less pigmented produce, like peppers, will give you a similar color but a few shades lighter. Lastly, water content. This isn’t THE most important part of making colored pasta, but I urge you to steer clear of things that are extremely wet, like tomatoes or cucumbers (That being said, tomato paste is a fine substitute) .

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So what produce yields the best color? Here’s a list;

Red/Pink: red beets, dragon fruit, red berries, beets and paprika.

Orange: Roasted red bell pepper, roasted carrots (adding saffron creates a deeper orange color), turmeric, roasted butternut squash, roasted pumpkin, harissa, paprika, tomato paste.

Yellow: yellow beets.

Green: Any bright green herb (basil, parsley, cilantro), leafy greens (kale, spinach), spirulina, green pea.

Blue: Butterfly pea flower, blue spirulina.

Purple: Roasted red beets and blueberries, roasted red beets and harissa, blueberry (speckled lavender)

Brown: Cocoa powder, mole paste, chestnut flour.

Grey: Purple cabbage.

Black: activated charcoal.

White: Milk and heavy cream.

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Note; for fruits, vegetables, and herbs, you want about 4 OZ or 1/2 cup. For powders and spices 2 TBSP will thoroughly color your pasta.

Okay, so when I started playing with colored pasta dough for this post I realized there’s an endless number of color combinations. I could easily do a five to ten part series on just colored pasta dough (not a bad idea). But for today I chose to cover a few basic recipes that I find to be very interchangeable.

Herb or Leafy Green Colored Pasta Dough (Green)

2C AP Flour

3 Eggs

1 Bunch Fresh Herb or Leafy Greens (I used parsley)

1 tsp Salt

In a blender, combine your greens with eggs and blend until a color consistent puree is formed.

In a large bowl add flour, salt and puree. Stir until the dough forms large crumbles.

Pour the dough onto a floured surface and knead 3-5 minutes until dough forms a smooth, elastic ball.

Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and rest for 30 minutes.

Roll and shape as you desire.

 

 

 

Spice or Paste Colored Dough (turmeric, paprika, spirulina, cocoa powder, activated charcoal, mole paste, tomato paste)  

2C Flour

3 Eggs

1 Egg Yolk

1 TBSP E.V.O.O

2 TBSP Powder or Paste (I used turmeric)

1 tsp Salt

In a blender combine eggs, egg yolk and powder or paste until color consistent puree is formed.

In a large bowl combine flour and salt, add puree.

Stir until dough reaches crumble stage, pour onto floured surface and knead until dough forms a smooth, elastic ball. 3-5 minutes.

Wrap in plastic and rest 30 minutes.

Roll and shape as desired.

 

General Vegetable Dough (beets, roasted red pepper, berries, roasted carrots, etc.) 

2.25-2.5 C AP Flour

2 Eggs

1/2-3/4 C Produce (beets, blueberries, and roasted red pepper shown below)

1 tsp Salt

Before starting this process note the different water contents of your produce. Beets and berries have a much higher content than cabbage or red peppers. Adjust your flour and liquid accordingly.

In a blender combine eggs with coloring agent until smooth and color consistent puree is formed.

In a large bowl combine flour and salt, add puree. Add more flour or more liquid as needed.

Stir until dough reaches crumble stage, pour onto floured surface and knead until dough forms a smooth, elastic ball. 3-5 minutes.

Wrap in plastic and rest 30 minutes.

Roll and shape as desired.

 

Blue Pasta Dough

I really wanted to make a blue pasta dough to show you guys, however I haven’t been able to find butterfly pea flowers or blue spirulina here in Qatar. Both are available on Amazon. The trick to blue pasta dough is using a recipe that doesn’t include eggs. I’ll post a recipe here, let me know how it works out for you!

2.25 C AP Flour

1 C Boiling water

1/2 C Dried Butterfly Pea Flowers OR 1 TBSP of Blue Spirulina

For spirulina dough, combine flour and spirulina in a large bowl and add boiling water.

For butterfly pea flower, cover the flowers with hot water and steep completely until a blue shade is reached. Strain. Reserve the water.

In a large bowl, combine blue water and flour and mix.

Stir until dough reaches crumble stage, pour onto floured surface and knead until dough forms a smooth, elastic ball. 3-5 minutes.

Wrap in plastic and rest 30 minutes.

Roll and shape as desired.

 

All dough can be stored in fridge and cooked within 3 days or frozen.

What color pasta are you going to make? Let me know in the comments!

 

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