Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Making Your Pasta Blush

Homemade pasta is exciting on its own. It's fun to make and a treat to taste. Now imagine adding color and more depth to it and you have a truly interesting dish.It's easy to do  - and brings lunch or dinner up another notch.

David Tanis experimented this and wrote about it in his  A City Kitchen column in today's New York Times Food section.Handmade or home made pasta is one of the simplest preps ever.It's just a mix of eggs and flour, mixed together and then kneaded to form a thick dough. It's usually then rolled out and cut or put through a pasta machine to be cut into ribbons or sheets.The result is a yellowy spaghetti or fettucini ,a perfect base for a homemade marinara or creamy Alfredo sauce. Yet is it enough? Does it need more?Mr.Tanis believes so and has a number of suggestions. A colored pasta not only zings up the dish but adds another layer of flavor. Green pasta can be made with pureeing fresh spinach or chard to the recipe. It gives the usually eggy tasting dough a garden fresh taste. Herbs, always included in any Italian dish, can be respun into a batch of angel hair .Add parsley , rosemary and sage to any dough for a speckled , light green result  that's perfect for any Spring dinner.Saffron not only gives a rich , golden hue but also a distinct flavor that 's great with any seafood sauce.

The recipe that Mr/ Tanis gives is for a peppery, red pasta, redolent with Hungarian paprika.cayenne and pimenten.It's a rusty looking pasta that he teams up with sweet vegetables. The reason behind this combo is that the two opposite flavors compliment each other,All together there is a heady dose of hot spices in the dough.It's zingy enough  so it needs a mellowness to tame it down a bit. Mr. Tanis pairs it with butternut squash along with pancetta for some meat and saltiness. Ricotta gives the sauce  a creaminess. This could also be reversed and made into a ravioli with the squash mixture inside a hot pepper dough.Another idea is serving it with an arrabiata sauce for sheer heat or with lobster for a spin on seafood version. Today's masterful recipe could also be reversed with a butternut squash pasta and a spicy sauce.It's just as easy to make as the hot pasta, and the result is a lovely orange fettucini or bucatini,if you like red colored pasta without the heat , then try a tomato based  or red pepper based one. The first requires two tablespoons of tomato sauce added while the second just needs a small unseeded pepper. For a scarlet pasta, try adding half a cup of cooked beets.

Pasta doesn't doesn't have to be bland both in taste and in flavor. Whip up a batch of spicy red or Springy green for a different spin on a classic dish.It's fun and colorful.

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