A Labor of Love: Beet Pasta with Braised Kale and Italian Sausage

Oh those recipes. Those recipes for those special occasions. Those recipes that take forever, but are so worth it. Well, you’ve found one of those. Those recipes that are purely a labor of love. Here it is: Beet Pasta with Braised Kale and Italian Sausage.

I love beets. Pickled beets, fresh beets, pureed beets, you name it. Beets go with everything (especially some cool beats).

I love pasta. Homemade, out of the box, you name it. Pasta goes with everything (especially some beets).

I love pink. On clothes, on walls, on food, you name it. Pink goes with everything (especially some beet pasta).

So let’s cut to the chase and get started making this perfectly pink pasta!

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Let’s start by prepping the beets that will add a lovely pink hue to our pasta. All you have to do is wrap them in foil and bake until tender!

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Once cool, peel and chop the beets into cubes.

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Now take your blender and puree those beets, eggs, oil, and salt until a beautiful bright-colored liquid forms. I just love this color!

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Mix this bright pink puree into some flour with a dough hook attachment until it comes together. Then (I know – effort) knead the dough until it is as smooth as a baby’s bottom. Wrap the pasta dough up nice and tight and let it rest for an hour. When you knead dough, gluten develops which creates the bite and chew of the finished pasta dish. If you don’t let your dough rest, the gluten won’t have time to rest as well. It will be hard to roll out the pasta dough, and you and the pasta will become very frustrated, so just wait and work on the kale!

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Really all you have to do is sauté onions, garlic, tomatoes, and kale in olive oil before adding stock and seasoning. Just cover the pot and let it simmer away!

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Now that your pasta is rested and ready for rolling, you can start creating well-floured clumps of pasta to be ready for boiling!

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Cook the pasta for only a minute or two in heavily salted water, as fresh pasta cooks quite quickly compared to dry pasta.

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Saute up that sausage and toss everything together for one spectacular dish! Yum!

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Beet Pasta with Kale and Spicy Italian Sausage 
Serves: 4-7
Beet Pasta:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour/whole-wheat pastry flour/white whole-wheat flour
  • 2 sm. beets
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Wrap the beets in foil and cook them on a 450˚F preheated oven, for 40 minutes or until done. Let them cool then peel and cube them. Place the beets on a blender with the whole eggs, egg yolk, oil and salt. Puree until smooth. Place the flour in a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the beet puree and mix on low-speed until fully incorporated. The dough should not be wet; if it is, add a tablespoon more of flour (I did not need to add more flour).
  2. Once the dough is incorporated, knead it by hand. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes or until it turns smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it well and let it rest for 1 hour at room temperature. When ready, roll out the dough according to your pasta machine’s manufacture’s instructions. If you don’t have a pasta machine, you can roll it out by hand with a rolling-pin. Make sure to flour the pasta very well after you cut it to prevent from sticking. To cook the pasta, boil it in salted water for 2 minutes. Serve it with your favorite sauce.
 Braised Kale:
  • 1 bunch of kale, steam discarded & leaves torn into bit size pieces
  • 4 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 sm. red onion, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions and cook for 4 minutes then add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the tomatoes, stir well and cook for 5 minutes. Add the kale, stir well and cook for 5 minutes more. Finally add the vegetable stock, salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Check once in a while to see if it has enough liquid.
Final dish:
  • ½ lb spicy Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 3 cups of braised kale
  1. Place the sausage in a pan and cook until browned (break the sausage down to small pieces with a spoon). Once ready, add the kale and let it cook for 2 minutes then toss in the pasta, serve immediately.
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