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raf (2008 09 01)

Colored Pasta Dough

Stephanie da Silva

These amounts should be enough to color about 1 1/2 pounds of pasta dough, made with 3 to 4 cups of flour, 4 eggs and 2 tbsp olive oil.
You'll probably need to add a little bit of extra flour to compensate for the extra moisture from the vegetables.
Green pasta. Parboil 1/2 pound of spinach for about two minutes or chard for five minutes. Drain, rinse in cold water and squeeze the leaves as dry as possible. Puree the spinach or chard through a sieve or food mill, or chop it fine by hand or with a food processor. With a fork, combine the spinach or chard with the pasta ingredients.
Knead, and roll out.
Speckled green pasta. Trim, wash, pat dry and chop fine about 6 tablespoons of mixed fresh herbs: parsley, sorrel, thyme, sage leaves, tarragon, lovage, marjoram, basil, dandelion, rocket, hyssop and tender savory shoots are all suitable. However, the strong herbs -- thyme, sage, savory, marjoram and tarragon -- do not marry well with some others, so choose your cherb mixture carefully. Stir the herbs into the dough ingredients with a fork. Knead and roll out.
Red/pink pasta. Boil two small unpeeled beets in salted water for 40 minutes to one hour or until tender. Peel and chop the beets, then puree them in a food processor. Stir the beet puree into the pasta dough ingredients before kneading the dough and rolling it out.
Orange pasta. Stir about 1/4 cup of well-reduced tomato sauce or pureed tomato into pasta dough ingredients. Knead and roll out.
Yellow pasta. Add a pinch of ground saffron to the flour and salt for the pasta dough. Mix well. Stir in the eggs and oil. Knead and roll out.

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