The linguine was a traditional egg pasta recipe with a beetroot puree kneaded into the dough. The sauce is olive oil based, with onion, salt-baked beetroot cubes, roasted garlic, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and fresh thyme. The pasta is topped with walnut pieces that have been lightly browned in butter and coated with honey. Topping the pasta were freshly shaved parmesan and gremolata, a mixture of finely chopped parsley, lemon zest, and garlic.
My chef instructor had nothing negative to say about the pasta, giving me raving reviews except for one tiny detail: the cheese. He believed that the pasta had a wonderful beetroot flavour, but needed a creamy element, and shaved parmesan just wasn't cutting it. He was right!
What you'll need for the pasta
- 200 g tipo 00 flour
- 500 g beetroot (approximately 3 large roots)
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Pasta can be made many different ways, but for this pasta, I used the classic 1 egg to 100 g flour ratio and added beetroot puree for colour and flavour together with a couple pinches of salt.
You may want to buy some latex gloves to handle beets, else your fingers turn quite red.
To make the beetroot puree, peel and roughly chop the beetroot and add to a pot with just enough water to cover. Gently boil until tender (approximately a half hour). Strain beets but reserve liquids. Add beets to a food processor or blender with olive oil and blend until smooth. Add some of the reserved liquids to thin. Strain puree. It should have the consistency of runny applesauce. Set aside.
Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon from the inside of the well toward the outside, incorporating a bit of flour at a time until the dough comes together into a ball. Toss a handful flour onto your work surface, and turn out the dough, scraping down the sides. Knead for 10 minutes, using gloves if needed. The finished dough should be firm, but not dry, and not overly sticky. It will be bright pink. Form the dough into a disc, wrap well in plastic, and rest in the fridge for an hour until ready to use.
What you need for the sauce:
- 500 g beets (appx. 2-3 large beets)
- coarse salt
- 1 head of garlic
- 200 ml olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- leftover beet puree
How to make the sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- a handful walnuts, broken in half
- a handful parsley, washed and dried
- the zest of a lemon
- one clove of garlic
- creamy goat's cheese