Freshly Made Beetroot Fettucine with a Gorgonzola Sauce

rolling pasta

Despite having had this pasta maker for over a decade, I’ve never made good pasta. Most of my rolled pieces looked like they’d been made love to by a small dog. As is often the case, we attribute this to some innate personal failing. This deficit could have been transferred as a credit to some kind of projected perfect noodly deity who for some reason is deservedly punishing me. The enlightened solution is that there are problems because I was doing it wrong. Michelle the sous chef, gave me a new task at work , asking if I could make pasta and I gave my standard response to these kinds of questions which is “erm ahm yes but I’m pretty crap so could you show me”. My main problem was not enough flour on the dough. Any wet spots should be dusted throughout the rolling process. Also remember to dust the pasta roller and NEVER WASH IT EVER. A few finessing points like folding the pasta up the arm and a quick flick of the pile and clumsy, clumsy, success. No magic, just technique. I try and repeat whatever I learn on the weekend, so pasta it was last night, with beetroot for a bit of colour.

pasta ingredients


I found some “00” rated flour at the Boatshed Markets in Cottesloe. You can use plain flour. From here it’s just making a circular dam of flour and breaking the eggs in the middle. Work the flour into the centre with a fork until it’s combined and then start kneading, adding flour to keep it from being sticky. Knead, turn, knead, turn, for about five minutes until it’s smooth, shiny, and bounces back when you poke it. At some stage you should have remembered to add the beetroot you finely grated. A bit of a thought about this. You could run it through a juicer or just grate it and then press it through a seive. I used a plastic oroshi grater. It’s usually used for daikon or ginger but it gets a nice fine consistency with beetroot and leaves only one thing to wash up.

It’s one of those read somewhere and can’t verify things is you wrap the dough in glad wrap and put it in the fridge for half an hour. Is this necessary. Anyway you can keep it in the fridge or freeze it until you’re ready. Rolling it just before the meal is a nice trick.

I cut the dough in half. Squashed it a little, dusted it with flour and ran it through the widest “1” setting twice. Then up to “3” and then one run at each setting up to “6”, dusting as necessary. You cann fold the roll and rest it on your forearm, unfolding it as you go along. Then slice into appropriate lengths and run through the fettucine cutter. If you’ve used enough, there’s no need to leave it hanging over chair backs, it’ll sit happily in a pile and separate when put in boiling water. And there they are there.

beetroot pasta


The sauce was a simple cheese and cream sauce that used gorgonzola and cream. Slice up chicken breast and marinate in a few cloves of chopped garlic and half a red chilli, with some salt, pepper, chopped parsley and EVOO. Cook the chicken in a pan, set aside and keep warm, and deglaze the pan with a little chicken stock and white wine. Add a cup of cream and allow it to heat before adding a handful of cubed gorgonzola and strirring at a simmer for five minutes. Toss in a tablespoon of finely sliced basil and season and stir it in.

The pasta will only take a few minutes to cook in boiling salted water so keep a close eye on it. It’s important to remember that it’ll keep cooking after it’s drained. Plate the pasta, pour the sauce over, and top with the chicken.

chicken and gorgonzola sauce


Sadly the pasta looks like it’s drowning here, something to be careful of. The pasta isn’t colourfast so it settled to a pale pink and the taste was very mild. You may wish to up the amount of beetroot from about a third of a cup to a half, if pastel is less your thing. The sauce was so rich it had a large country manor, a discreet but expensive watch, and a yacht that it would use to entertain clients on sunny days. Use moderation in serving size. Anyhoo, home made pasta-good, and as always, if I can do it you can do it. Impress your friends and yourself.

And: I noticed the Boatshed Markets has green banana leaves, which made me think of Reid’s great summery series on lu’au. Follow the trail from Kalua Pig. Mmmmm butts.

37 comments

  1. Kate’s avatar

    We’re not eating much pasta at the moment (diet thingy get fit for summer blah blah blah) and that just makes me want to cry.

  2. Anthony’s avatar

    That makes me want to cry too. Portion control and a run around the block and give me twenty.

  3. Sue’s avatar

    Oh lordy, that looks so divine. Makes me want to pull out the pasta machine and make a wasabi fettucine gently sesame oiled to have with mirin glazed salmon. Damn you stupid food daydreams!

  4. CW’s avatar

    “Most of my rolled pieces looked like they’d been made love to by a small dog.”

    ROFLMAO – great analogy! Made me snort loudly at my work PC so that everyone stared at me. (I told them I was just reading a blog, which made them stare at me even more. Hmm.)

    Great pics and thanks for the tips too.

  5. Anthony’s avatar

    Sue
    That sounds terrific. I rue the lost opportunities my pasta machine and I have had together over all these years.

    CW
    It’s tragically accurate. I hope you dind’t get a round of shhhhhhhhs and sign pointings.
    You’re welcome, I’m just passing stuff along.

  6. Moira’s avatar

    You’ve reminded me that I need to get my pasta machine out again. After the move, I guess…I’ll live vicariously through you until then. [insert deep body shiver]

  7. Anthony’s avatar

    Hey Moira

    Out! Out! Out!

    Be my guest, today you got to drive a Landcruiser, laugh at your own jokes, and use a urinal.

    How are things going for EoooooooMEeeeeeeeeoTE, hosty with a ghosty?

  8. Gracianne’s avatar

    I need one of those pasta machines, now!

  9. Moira’s avatar

    I love your life! How else would I ever have used a urinal? Don’t answer that.

    So far, the response to EoMEoTE#12 has been rather scary on its own. Not many comments, but two posts dropped by this morning. Maybe you could do a bit of promo, oh great one?

  10. Anthony’s avatar

    Gracianne – go get one. What time is it over there? 11:30, plenty of time for shopping.

    Moira
    It’s great, tonight I’m going to dress up like Peter Allen and cook pork chops.

    I’ll speak to the media department. Don’t worry you’ve already matched the minimum participation and there’s still two weeks AT MINIMUM.

  11. augustusgloop’s avatar

    Perhaps they were mistaking it for leetleroot?

  12. Anthony’s avatar

    Down boy!

  13. Rachael’s avatar

    In some markets they sell beetroot powder…its basically, ground up dehydrated beets. I use it for my pasta and it keeps the color fast.

  14. The Daily Magnet’s avatar

    Is there any scope for using different grains Anthony – the pasta looks fantastic, it’d be so great if there was an option for non-wheaties, like me ;}} I love the beetroot in it and the sauce!- send me to the manor!!

  15. deborah’s avatar

    a sprinkle of napisan should do the trick to retain that pink. great job as usual. must buy myself a pasta machine one of these days

  16. ejm’s avatar

    Yup, there’s nothing better than homemade pasta made with one of those handcrank machines. We’ve never added other ingredients though (Or DID we try making spinach pasta once? We generally use half unbleached all purpose flour and half semolina that we get in Indiatown.) I kind of prefer the flavourings to be in the fillings or the sauce rather than the pasta itself.

    We were just saying that it’s time to make some squash ravioli but now you’ve got me thinking that we should try stuffing some with grated beets. And maybe some goat cheese….

  17. Anthony’s avatar

    Rachel
    Cheers for that, colourfast would be good (if there’s no napisan) – one thing about grating is that it does leave a few specks in the pasta which can be a good or bad thing.
    Liz
    To the manor born. I don’t know about pasta but the Japanese make somen which is made from water and buckwheat.
    Saffy
    You could knock on a few doors with $20 in your hand, there are probably a few sitting around like mine not being used.
    EJM
    I’ve tried using spinach before but apparently the process is a bit trickier than just mincing it up (getting the chlorophyll out). I’m not sure if it would pass the blindfold test so the beetroot is more for the colour. Goat’s cheese and beetroot ravioli sounds just the best. Any ideas for the sauce?

  18. Lex Culinaria’s avatar

    I’ve seen a goat cheese/beetroot ravioli with a butter and poppyseed sauce that sounded nice.

    BTW: Conga Rats on the article in the age Spicey. I’ve been on the road for a few weeks so haven’t had my daily fix of online age and coffee in the mornings so I’m a bit slow off the mark with that one.

  19. Anthony’s avatar

    Hey Lex, nice to have you back over. Yes fame, still waiting for the drugs and the groupies. Well done on the Deutsche Welle nomination yourself.

    The combo sounds terrific, I’ve never heard of poppy seed being used before. Huzzah for pasta makers!

  20. sari’s avatar

    Yum Yum!! Im craving for pasta these days esp after dat visit to Ciao Italia!! This week Im going to Valentino!! Heeeheeee
    *michie

  21. Anthony’s avatar

    Foget Ciao Italia, make your own. Although you’ll need to get about 40 people in your house to get the same atmosphere.

    Here’s a pic of Ciao Italia

    And here are lots of your pics for the people here.

  22. Reid’s avatar

    Hi Anthony,

    The beetroot pasta looks great. Did you learn how to make this at Jackson’s? I learned how to make pasta in a loft in New York. My friend’s sister came over from Bergamo, Italy with her pasta maker and a suitcase. She never left New York and I learned how to make some really delicious pasta. I haven’t made it since though…I guess both Moira and I need to dust off our machines.

    Thanks for the link there…I hope you enjoyed it all.

  23. ejm’s avatar

    Poppyseed is a good idea, Lex. We often (well, many times in the past) serve fettucine with butter and poppyseeds as a side for beef stroganov(sp??)

    I wouldn’t have thought of poppyseeds for the beet and goatcheese ravioli. I was thinking maybe a little overkill and making a pecan cream sauce. With maybe a little fennel seed.

    Damn!! We’ve GOT to hop down to the vegetable marker today to get some beets and an acorn squash so we can do some ravioli taste tests.

  24. Anthony’s avatar

    Hey Reid

    I love the pasta maker and a suitcase image get your pasta maker out. Make a batch of dough, freeze it and when you come home from work. Mmmmm

    Welcome for the link, this is what happens when you I lose track for a week. Great series, I’ll have to give it some thought for summer.

    EJM
    Poppyseed is on the list. Pecan cream sauce. Mwoaaaam!

  25. notthewest’s avatar

    Although I did say those horrible things about beetroot all those years ago, I’m not interested in this issue of vindication or retribution, it’s in the past. The matter has
    been discussed and resolved.

  26. Anthony’s avatar

    Not easy for a man to do, perhaps Don Jackson of Ballajura could find it in his heart.

  27. bramble’s avatar

    >Also remember to dust the pasta roller and NEVER WASH IT EVER.

    ah ha ha
    despite throwing away the first two batches of dough as recommended, my pasta still tasted of yucky machine oil. so i WASHED IT! to my (minimal) credit, i immediately oiled it again with a tasteless mineral oil (stolen from lab, don’t know what other pathogens/carcinogens were in it). but it was never the same again…

  28. Anthony’s avatar

    Don’t know why they’d oil it. Not like they rust or anything. Maybe just do a couple of runs through. Tsk stealing from the lab. I think the prized acquisitions for naughty boys at school were – magnesium, sodium and bong making glassware.

  29. Ange’s avatar

    I too have had a few pasta failures & had given up. You have given me new hope & will be sure to try again soon.

    Looks & sounds delicious

  30. Anthony’s avatar

    Andrea

    That’s sweet music to my ears. Thank you.

    Just a word of warning, plain flour doesn”t work quite so well, and keep it reasonably moist while kneading it.

  31. keiko’s avatar

    I was thinking of making pasta with beetroot sauce, but yours looks/sounds better… hmm.

  32. Anthony’s avatar

    Hey Keiko
    The beetroot taste in the pasta isn’t very strong so if you really like beetroot, maybe you should try the sauce. I had beetroot pesto once as a dip at a restaurant once and it was delicious. They wouldn’t tell me the recipe though.

  33. ejm’s avatar

    It’s all your fault that we have to make pasta again tomorrow night….

    We made two kinds of ravioli the other night – plain pasta stuffed with either acorn (baked) squash, onion mix OR grated (baked) beet, local soft fresh goat cheese, cider vinegar mix. Served in cream sauce with caramelized onions.

    Oh. My. God. It was fantastic. Next time we’ll put pieces of goat cheese into the sauce at the last minute. (goat cheese got a little lost in the beet mixture)

    wldwvi

  34. Anthony’s avatar

    That sounds tremendous ej. I’ll have to get my ravioli stamp out.

    shhhhh on the passwords

  35. ejm’s avatar

    It was phenomenal. So much that we had it again a few nights later. No need for the ravioli stamp. Just cut rectangles and fold them over.

    In between we grilled porkchops and had stirfried beetgreens and garlic alongside couscous with Moroccan cured olives and preserved lemon….

    I LOVE beets!

    -Elizabeth

    (Oops sorry. Are they finite?)

  36. Anthony’s avatar

    No there are many many passwords it’s just I spend 15 minutes thinking it’s some kind of farewell acronym.

    Beets are great and you’ve done them proud.

  37. ejm’s avatar

    Borscht. We haven’t made borscht yet. Do YOU have a good recipe for it? I’ve never been absolutely happy with the ones I’ve tried.

    But wasn’t it you guys who started doing that in another comment section? I wanted to show off that I (finally) figured out what you were all going on about.

    Am I the only one who has difficulty distinguishing the ‘l’ from ‘I’ and ‘c l’ from ‘d’?

    -Elizabeth

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