Beetroot pappardelle

IMG_1174This is a splendid dish, partly because of the taste, partly because of the colour.  There is never much left-over – but that seems to be the case with every pasta dish we cook!Season:  Summer /Autumn/Spring

Type:  Big dishes, Pasta

Difficulty:  Easy

Serves:  6 serves at home or 20 tastes in the classroom

Fresh from the garden:  beetroot, eggs

Recipe source: Adapted from a recipe by Desley Insall, Collingwood College


  • pasta machine
  • large saucepan
  • scales
  • bowls – 1 small, 1 medium
  • plastic wrap
  • chopping boards & non-slip mats
  • large knife
  • food processor



  • 500 g plain flour
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 70 g puréed beetroot (see Note)
  • extra flour for dusting


What to do

  • Set out your equipment and ingredients.

Make the dough

  • Place a medium bowl on the scales and zero the scales.  Weigh the flour by adding spoonfuls to the bowl.
  • Tip into the food processor.
  • With the motor running, add the eggs and beetroot purée.
  • Process for a couple of minutes until the dough comes together into a ball.
  • Tip the dough onto a clean dry bench and knead for a minute.  If the dough is sticky, add a bit more flour.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for an hour on the bench before rolling.

Roll the dough

  • Divide the dough into four equal parts (wrap up what you don’t use to keep it from drying out).
  • Clear a large space on the workbench alongside the pasta machine.  All surfaces must be clean and dry.  Press the dough into a rectangle about 8 cm wide.
  • Set the rollers on the pasta machine to the widest setting and pass the dough through.  The dough will probably look quite ragged at this stage.  Fold in tint 3, turn it 90 degrees and roll it through again.   Repeat this another 3 times.
  • Go to the next-thickest setting and pass the dough through 2 – 3 times.
  • Continue in this manner (changing the settings and passing the dough through) until the dough has passed through the second-thinnest setting.
  • Lay the pasta sheet on the workbench and cut the pasta into short, thick strips, about 3 cm wide and 12 cm long.
  • Scatter the 2 trays with semolina flour and lay the strands of pasta in a single layer on the trays and allow to dry while you cut the remaining pasta.
  • Repeat with the remaining pieces of pasta dough.

Cook the pasta

  • Fill the saucepan with water and add 1½ teaspoons of salt and bring to the boil.
  • Drop in the pasta.  Cook for 2 – 3 minutes (taste to check if it is al dente).
  • Set the colander in the sink.  Tip the pasta and boiling water into the colander, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water to help thin the sauce if needed.
  • Return the pasta to the empty hot saucepan then add the herb sauce and mix gently with the tongs.
  • Taste for seasoning, then serve.

Note: To make the beetroot purée

  • Trim the leaves from 2 whole beetroot, place in a pot, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Cook until the beets are soft when skewered all the way through (about half an hour).  Drain and cool, then peel the skin off.  Chop up the beetroot, place in a food processor and pulse until it forms a fine, smooth paste.  Measure out 70 g for this recipe and freeze the excess in a tub for another time.
NotesInteresting techniques used in this recipe are:

  • Adding vegetable purée to pasta dough
  • Hand-cutting pasta strips


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