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Naturally Flavored Fresh Pasta


These four pasta recipes are remarkably simple and the most aesthetically appealing dishes to make and serve.


In Culinary Arts we had fun learning how to create naturally colored pasta using beets, carrots, spinach and squid ink, ( inchiostro di seppia )


The students made the noodles, in this case fettuccine, and dressed each pasta recipe with it's own simple sauce to compliment their flavors. Then each dish was finished off with a sprinkling of Parmesan or a drizzle of olive oil,


These colorful and flavorful pasta dishes single-handedly reminds us of a basic principle of cooking:


Sometimes keeping it simple is the perfect way to go!





Beet Fettuccine with Arugula & Goat Cheese

Ingredients:

1 pound beet pasta

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1 cup baby arugula

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

salt and black pepper to taste

1/3 cup pine nuts toasted


Directions:

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente.


Meanwhile, whisk the olive oil and lemon juice together in a small bowl.


Once pasta is cooked, drain, but reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Toss the pasta with the lemon/oil sauce. Optional


Add the reserved cooking liquid 1/4 cup at a time until desired consistency is reached. I actually didn’t need any when I served this right away, but as time goes on, it will dry out, so moisten it with the pasta water as needed.

Gently stir in arugula, lemon zest, goat cheese, and season with salt and pepper.

Spinach Fettuccine Carbonara


Ingredients

I lb, spinach pasta

1/2 pound lean slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 pound spinach fettuccine

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (3 ounces)

1 large egg plus 2 large yolks

2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper

One 5-ounce container baby spinach


Directions

In a large, deep skillet, cook the bacon over moderately low heat until crisp, 7 minutes. '

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the fettuccine until almost al dente.


Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the 1 cup of grated cheese with the egg, egg yolks and pepper. Carefully measure out 1 1/4 cups of the pasta cooking water and gradually whisk it into the egg mixture. Add the spinach to the fettuccine, then drain immediately.

Reheat the bacon in the skillet. Off the heat, add the fettuccine and spinach. Slowly pour in the egg mixture, tossing constantly with tongs. Set the skillet over moderate heat for a few seconds to warm the sauce; do not boil. Season lightly with salt and serve at once.

Carrot Fettuccine with Onion, Peas & Mushrooms

Ingredients

1 lb. carrot pasta

3 tbs olive oil

1 large onion diced

1 cup spring peas ( frozen )

3 cups mushrooms

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (3 ounces)

freshly ground pepper


Directions

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente.


Meanwhile, sauté onion in olive oil until soft then add mushrooms cook until soft then add frozen peas. Continue cooking


Once pasta is cooked, drain, but reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Toss the pasta with the onion. mushroom, peas mixture.

Add the reserved cooking liquid 1/4 cup at a time until desired consistency is reached. I actually didn’t need any when I served this right away, but as time goes on, it will dry out, so moisten it with the pasta water as needed.


Gently stir in grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese ad finish off with freshly ground black pepper.

Squid Ink Fettuccine with Shrimp & Cherry Tomatoes


INGREDIENTS:

I lb squid ink pasta

1 pound shrimp peeled and de-veined

2 teaspoons olive oil

6 cloves garlic thinly sliced

2 Tablespoons tomato paste

10 ounces cherry tomatoes halved

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 lemons zested and juiced

1/2 cup chopped basil

4 Tablespoons butter

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper


Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.


In a large skillet heat olive oil on medium-high heat until hot. Add the garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1-2 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant.


Add the tomato paste. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until dark red.


Add the cherry tomatoes, ¼ cup pasta water and red pepper flakes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until tomatoes are softened.


Cook the pasta to al dente, reserving ½ cup of the pasta cooking water, drain the pasta.

While the pasta cooks, add the shrimp to tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until cooked.


Add the cooked pasta, butter, lemon zest, lemon juice and half the reserved pasta cooking water to the skillet with the shrimp & tomatoes.


Cook, stirring frequently, 2-3 minutes, or until the pasta is coated in the sauce; season with salt and pepper to taste. (If the sauce seems dry, add in some of the reserved pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.)


Turn off the heat and stir in half the basil.


Garnish with remaining basil and serve.

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