Whether you want to try something new or want to vow your guests: stunning homemade beet pasta is so easy and simple to make!
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Homemade is always best. Especially when it’s not complicated at all. This homemade beet pasta has a beautiful color and will vow everyone at your table. Both the color and taste are stunning.
Pasta has traditionally been made at home. Only in recent times do we just grab a package from a grocery shelf for this popular dish.
But let me tell you that it’s actually very easy to make and the difference in taste is so worth the extra time.
Of course, it takes a bit more than just heating up water and dumping the pasta into it. So save it for a meal when you have a bit more time since it involves a few more steps than these bright green nettle spätzle, for example.
Flour: this is your main ingredient here. In my recipe, I am using both finely ground semolina flour and regular all-purpose flour. The former gives the pasta a bit more elasticity in the making and a firmer texture to the finished pasta. If you can’t find semolina, just leave it out and use only the AP flour. You will need 1 ⅓ c of semolina and ⅔ c of regular flour. You will need extra flour for working and dusting the dough.
Egg: Theoretically, you can make your pasta from flour only. However, adding eggs gives your pasta a better taste and it hold together better. You will need 2 eggs.
Salt: you can add it to your dough or use a bit more salt in your boiling water. I use about ¼ tsp in my dough.
Red beets: they are the star in this recipe! Not only do they give this pasta a stunningly beautiful color, they also add an earthy sweetness to it. Use 1 to 2 beets (depending on their size and also the depth of color you’re looking for).
Wooden rolling pin: instead of feeding the dough through the pasta machine, you will just fold and roll your dough many times. It is more work but this is what people have done before the invention of pasta makers!
How to prepare the beet pasta:
Start by cooking the beets. As I said, I like to cut off the top and bottom and cut them in quarters. Then, I put them in my steamer basket over boiling water with a lid on. Depending on the size of your beets, they will be soft in about 25 or so minutes.
Alternatively, you can wrap them in foil and bake them in the oven at 350˚F for about an hour or until soft. Or simply boil them in water.
Now, you need to puree the beets. My trick is that I mix the eggs and beets in a blender. That way I don’t get little beet chunks but actually a beet puree.
Now, measure the dry ingredients and mix them in a medium sized bowl. Add your beet puree and work all this into a dough the best you can.
At some point, I just dump everything onto my counter (or a big cutting board) and knead the dough by hand. The goal is to create a stiff dough that holds together. You may have to add more flour or a bit of water. Let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
Making the homemade beet pasta:
Cut your dough in 4-6 about equal portions. Starting with one portion, dust it with the extra flour.
If you’re using a pasta machine, attach it securely to your work surface. Tip: if your counters don’t stick out far enough to attach the pasta maker to it, you might try opening a base cabinet door or even a drawer and see if that gives you more counter depth. Extra tip: if you do that, protect the inside of your cabinet or drawer from unintentional flour dustings!
With your hands, flatten your dough and then feed it through your pasta maker on the widest setting. Dusting with more flour as necessary, fold your pasta sheet in half and feed it through again. Repeat this a few more times before you move to the next smaller setting. Continue going through these steps until you have reached the desired thickness of your pasta sheets.
If you are using a rolling pin, the concept is the same. Again, a bit more work but do-able.
Turn all your dough pieces into sheets, dusting them with flour as you go. That will give them extra stiffness and keeps them from sticking to surfaces and each other.
Now, you could cut your pasta sheets into long strips to create fettuccine or linguini. If you have the respective pasta maker attachments, you can use them.
Cook them in boiling salted water for only a few minutes. You’ll know when they’re done when the pasta is floating to the top.
You can also refrigerate your pasta for a few days.
This homemade beet pasta is delicious with crumbled soft goat cheese, toasted walnuts, and parmesan. It is also delicious with a crab-cream sauce.
If you like, you can substitute the red beets with carrots for an orange color, spinach or nettles for a green color, or any other vegetable!
Homemade Beet Pasta
- Pasta maker or wooden rolling pin
- Blender or kitchen processor
- Optional: steamer basket
- 1 ⅓ cup semolina flour, finely ground (alternatively use AP flour)
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 whole eggs
- 1-2 whole red beets
- ¼ tsp salt
- extra flour for working the dough and dusting
- Steam, bake, or boil the red beets until soft. Cut off top and bottom. Peel and cut into quarters.
- Put beets with the eggs in a mini-blender or kitchen processor to create a puree.
- Measure and mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the beet puree and create a uniform dough.
- Dump dough onto your work surface and knead some more, adding either more flour or a bit of water to create a stiff dough. Let rest for 10 mins.
- Divide dough into 4-6 equal pieces.
- Flatten one dough piece, adding more flour to keep it from sticking and feed it through the pasta maker on the widest setting.
- Fold pasta sheet, dust with more flour and feed through pasta maker again. Repeat these steps a few times until you have a soft pasta sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough pieces.
- Set your pasta machine to the next narrower setting and repeat the above steps. Gradually narrow the setting until you have the desired thickness.
- Either use a fettuccini/linguini/spaghetti attachment or a knife and cut pasta sheets into desired shapes. Dust with flour and set aside until all the dough has been turned into shapes.
- Cook pasta in salted boiling water for only a few minutes. Pasta is done when it's floating on top. Drain and serve with your favorite sauce.
- Alternatively, you can keep the pasta in the refrigerator for a few days.