Monday, February 13, 2006

Pink Tagliatelle with courgette pesto

Love is in the air... la la la la la la laaaaaa! This is the week of Love, the week of lovers! Valentine's day has always represented for me the day of love, not only love for your loved one, but a more universal one. Love for the nature, love for friend and family, love for live and why not, love for food!

This week goes pink! After the success with the Green Matcha Tagliatelle which surprisingly Rob really liked, I said why not going pink? I have always loved betroot, most times I have them boiled and dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (better if is Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, which I'll tell you about in a few posts), but betroot aren't just good boiled, so here is one idea on how to use them. The pesto I made is simple and greenish. That is to contrast with the pink and also because I wanted something simple to enhance better the home made pasta flavour. As usual, you can try with different sauces, choosing between many kind of, along with your personal tastes.

Ingredients for the tagliatelle: 500gr durum weath flour, 100gr cooked and pureed betroot, 2 glasses of water
Ingredients for the courgette pesto: 3 medium courgettes, 50gr parmigiano reggiano, 60ml extravirgin olive oil, 5 basil leaves or more, 1 garlic clove, 1 tsp salt, a pinch of pepper

Use cooked betroot or buy raw ones and cook them. Put them in the mixer and reduce them finely. Sift the flour and add the pureed betroot. Add water bit by bit and make a round soft ball. Divide the dough into 4 and work it on the pasta machine into layers of pasta first. I start with number 3 and then go to 4. If you like it thinner than go up until 5, but its best if tagliatelle remain thicker so when you cook them they don't stick. Let the tagliatelle dry on a clean table cloth or on a pasta dryer.
To make the pest I have put all the ingredients into a blender and mixed until smooth. Add more or less oil according to the size of your courgettes and your taste.
Boil some water in a big saucepan, add some salt then add the pasta and let it cook for 3 minutes starting counting from when the water starts boiling again. Drain but save some water (about 6 Tbsp). Return the pasta on the gas, mix it with the pesto and toss well to blend all the ingredients and to make a nice sauce. This is very important in order to avoid sticky pasta. Add a drizzle of oil if the pasta sticks.


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