BEET­ROOT, PEAR AND BLUE CHEESE PASTA

Friday - - Good Food -

Prep time 15 mins Cook­ing time 3 hours, with rest and dry­ing time Serves 6-8

RED BOW-TIE PASTA

100g beet­root 400g cake flour 3 ex­tra-large eggs 1 tsp salt Olive oil, to driz­zle

SAUCE

8 slices beef ba­con 4 small pears, skin on, cored and sliced 4 tbsp but­ter A hand­ful of thyme, leaves picked 100g pecan nuts, chopped 2 tbsp brown sugar A hand­ful of rocket leaves 200g blue cheese, bro­ken

Pre­heat the oven to 180°C. To make the pasta, place the beet­root in a roast­ing pan and cover with foil.

Roast for an hour or un­til ten­der. Cool, re­move the skin, chop and purée in a food pro­ces­sor. Place the flour in a heap on a clean sur­face. Make a well in the cen­tre, then add 2 eggs, salt and beet­root purée. Gen­tly whisk with a fork, draw­ing in the flour as you go. Knead on a flour-dusted sur­face for 5 min­utes un­til smooth and elas­tic. Wrap in cling film and set aside for 30 min­utes. Di­vide the dough into 4 por­tions.

Flat­ten one por­tion slightly and cover the rest. Set the pasta ma­chine on the widest set­ting and flour the ma­chine and dough well. Knead through the ma­chine 4 times, fold­ing the dough and rolling un­til a long strip forms. Con­tinue feed­ing the dough through, set­ting the ma­chine a notch thin­ner ev­ery time un­til you reach the last set­ting. Whisk the last egg in a bowl. Cut the dough into 4cmx7cm rec­tan­gles.

Brush a thin line of egg across the mid­dle width of the rec­tan­gles and pinch in to form bow ties. Sprin­kle with flour and leave to dry for at least 2 hours. Re­peat the process to use up the re­main­ing dough. Driz­zle with olive oil. To make the sauce, in a pan dry-fry the beef ba­con on medium-high heat un­til crisp. Re­move and place on a pa­per towel-lined plate. Let it cool and then crum­ble. To the pan, add the pears, but­ter and thyme. Sauté for 3 min­utes or un­til the pear is golden but still crunchy. Re­move, add the nuts and sugar to the pan and heat for 2 min­utes. Re­turn the pear mix­ture and cook the pears through.

Cook the pasta in batches in boil­ing salted wa­ter for about 5 min­utes, un­til al dente. Stir oc­ca­sion­ally to pre­vent stick­ing. Re­move with a slot­ted spoon and driz­zle with oil.

Serve with the pear sauce, gar­nished with rocket leaves, beef ba­con and blue cheese.

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