This dish is a little over the top. Beet pasta with beet gnocchi, in cream cheese sauce topped off with toasted poppy seeds is not likely to be found on too many menus or in anybody’s kitchen. I wanted it to be prettier, but waiting until the last minute to take the Five Star Foodie Challenge left me with little time. This morning I had three red beets and I had to do something.
Not to be beat by a beat challenge, I wanted to stretch my own abilities and do something new. I substituted 1/2 cup of beet puree for an egg in my pasta recipe and that worked well. I used purple sweet potatoes for the gnocchi and the combination of flavors seems perfectly balanced. Both beets and sweet potatoes are sweet but in different ways, and I liked how they complimented each other.
I wanted to use toasted poppy seeds and that is what led to a cream cheese sauce. I thought about my favorite bagel and didn’t want to rush in too many flavors so the beets could be tasted.
This dish was a bit rushed, and with more time I may have added in chives or some shallots or sauteed purple onion. But the poppy seeds, when toasted, deliver a great flavor and I’m happy with how this turned out.
Flour, Eggs, Beet Puree for Beet Pasta
Once rolled out (or taken through a pasta machine) the pasta sits for 20 minutes covered. Then it is rolled up and cut into pasta noodles.
Pasta is dry enough to be placed into nests until cooking.
Beet and Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi
- Beet Pasta
- 1 medium size beet
- 2 cups flour
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons cream or whole milk
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds, toasted
- Wrap unpeeled beet in foil. Bake for one hour at 300 degrees.
- Cool and rub off skin. It should peel easily.
- Puree beet in food processor.
- Put one cup of flour onto mat. Break in egg. Mix together with a fork. Add in puree, and knead several times to get the beat fully incorporated. Add second cup of flour in, a few tablespoons at a time. You may not need it all. Pasta dough should not be sticky.
- Wrap in plastic and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes. This makes a tender dough.
- Take through pasta roller or roll into sheets
- Place on cloth that has been floured. Allow to dry for 10-15 minutes or until the pasta can be rolled and cut without sticking together.
- To cook pasta, place in salted boiling water and cook for 3-6 minutes until done.
- In separate frying pan, place in cream cheese with milk and cook over low heat until cream cheese is melted. Toss pasta into pan. Plate and add toasted poppy seeds.
Please be sure to check out all the dishes tomorrow morning at Five Star Foodie and Lazaro Cooks.