Friday, March 28, 2008

Home-made egg pasta with beetroot & walnut sauce

Fresh egg pasta in beetroot and walnut sauce, garnish with poppy seeds and parsley

"She can't cook!" my sister warned me about her domestic helper, Ethylene, before I went to her home for lunch last summer. Btw, my sister likes Ethylene a lot.

"She must be able to cook one thing or two? Didn't you tell me that she was a cook in a restaurant?" I questioned my sister.

"She worked in a spaghetti restaurant. She only cooked pasta. I don't eat pasta you know..." her voice trailed off...

Haha! My sister realized that she has been missing something good!

That afternoon Ethylene and I decided to make fresh pasta from scratch. But no rolling pin or pasta machine, fine, a wine bottle was on! Tender egg noodles were finally cooked in creamy sauce, fantastic! My sister had two bites, it was already considered a triumph since she's a completely hard-cored Chinese food's lover.

These flat noodles are incredibly easy to make; you don't even need to dusk off your pasta machine. But the key is, just like handling any bread's or pie's dough - T.I.M.E. I mean the inactive (resting) time. Always give the dough a rest after some rolling actions, then it will be easily spreading out; you can roll as thin as you want.

I didn't create this recipe, it is originated from one's from Dalle Alpi, Turin, northern Italy. The original doesn't contain any nuts, but I love adding some in order to create some "body" and a rustic feel.

To make the fresh egg pasta, please look out for the 2nd recipe. Plus some butter.

To make the sauce (base on 1 serving), you will need:

  • 1 very small beetroot (or 1/2 of the medium). Peel, cut into cubes.
  • 1 tablespoon butter (not any cooking oil)
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • a very small handful walnut, chopped
  • 1/4 or 1/3 cup fruity white wine
  • some water
  • a pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon heavy/double cream
  • 1 tablespoon ground parmigiano
  • some salt and pepper

Pre-heat a skillet, saute the butter, garlic and walnut over very low heat, for about 3 minutes, but don't let anything get burn. Raise up the heat and saute the beetroot for 3 minutes, add wine, continue for another 2 minutes. Puree with some water. We aim for sauce-like consistency. Return the puree to the skillet, simmer it for about 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste, add a pinch of nutmeg. Set it aside while you cook the pasta.

Boil the fresh pasta for a few minutes (they cook much faster than the dried) until al dente. Drain, and immediately add some salt and butter, toss well.

To serve, re-heat the sauce, add the parmigiano and heavy/double cream, pour it over a serving plate, place the pasta on top, garnish with poppy seeds and parsley.



Ginny said...

with a wine bottle? I've tried a pasta machine and made a disaster. Im very impressed...looks delicious! great photos!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Wow, they look amazing! A wonderful combination! Great photography!



Pooja said...

Amazing.... I think that is the appropriate word to describe the way you show your dish here. Even the recipe is so creative and healthy too . Kudos to you girl.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

My goodness -- the color of the beet sauce is amazing!

Renee said...

Fresh noodles are SO delicious! Your lunch is so spring-y and tasty-looking!

Brilynn said...

Oh how I love fresh pasta, this is beautiful!

Callipygia said...

What an interesting recipe- I have used beet instead of tomato, as a "spaghetti" sauce in macrobiotic cooking, since tomatoes are considered too acidic, but the preparation was more typical red sauce. I really think this sounds decadent. Glad you, the wine bottle and Ethylene converted your sister!

Katie Zeller said...

I love the sound of the sauce! Plus it's so pretty!!!
My problem with the pasta (as with many things) I don't have the patience to let it rest...always in a hurry~

Gattina Cheung said...

ginny, oh no worry, your pasta will be just getting better and better each time you try :) Thanks for your complement.

Rosa, thank you, I love this combo as well.

Pooja, yes, I feel fully charged up with nutrition and vitaman after the dish :)

Lydia, oh yes, that color is gem!

nan, thank you :) esp egg noodels and creamy sacue are always winner to me.

Briynn, hey babe, haven't seen you make some lately, yours were so good now I am missing them.

Calli, macrobiotic cooking! IT is interesting, please tell me more when you have time :) In this recipe my saute technique more inclines to Chinese way, and I did feel the outcome is better :) Thank you for the complement.

Katie, you muti-tasked lady, should I be surprised :P Thanks for your sweet words :D

Anonymous said...

Undoubtedly it looks impressing! As I`m a vegetarian along with many people from the Toronto neighbourhoods I`m always searching for unique dishes and now I have to try out this one. The walnut has become a very fancied ingredient of the different kind of meals which I regard fantastic as I adore it. Thanks for sharing us this recipe.

Cynthia said...

I have been thinking lately of trying to make pasta though I do not have a pasta-making machine. I am encouraged by your post. Your presentations are always outstanding and I learn so much.

Amy said...

Wow a wine bottle?! That's amazing! This dish looks delicious.

Cakespy said...

That pasta looks...I feel like I need to whip out a thesaurus for a word better than, I think I can apply them ALL: ace*, amazing, astonishing, astounding, awe-inspiring, extraordinary, fab, fabulous, fantasmo, far-out, glorious, great, prodigious, superhuman*, unreal*, wonderful

I am definitely trying this one out!

Lore said...

I made my pasta with a cylindrical jar but I've never quite succeeded in rolling out the dough so evenly! You've done such a great job and the sauce ....well so it happens I have 2 beets standing in my pantry right now :)

cakewardrobe said...

UMMM why does that look so beautiful! I'm glad you got your sister to think differently about pasta. Did your sister work in a Chinese restaurant?

Sharona May said...

Fabulous. Almost looks like a dessert!!!

Sharona May

sher said...

My beets are just starting to grow, so I must try this with them. The picture is so lovely. I feel like it's right in front of me, and I'm ready to eat it!

Ruth Daniels said...

Thanks for sharing a great dish with Presto Pasta Nights and a terrific story. I bet your sister has reconsidered her non-pasta ways.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photo. The colours would never lead me to believe that beets are a winter veg.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this looks seriously delicious! Nothing compares to fresh pasta!

Anonymous said...

that beetroot sauce looks and sounds amazing - thanks for the inspiraton!

Coffee and Vanilla said...

I love colours, flavours, composition... perfect dish and pictures! :)

Chris said...

Stunning presentation! :)

Lee said...

Once you've chucked the beetroot, how do you get the red colour in the sauce?

Gattina Cheung said...

hi lee, thanks for pointing out typo!