Brussels sprouts are my favorite winter vegetable and this light pasta dish is a nice contrast to the heft of most winter meals.
Beetroot Pasta Dough
- cooked beetrootA: about 500 g/ 18 oz
- 00 flour: 280 g/10 oz + extra as needed
- egg yolks: 4
- water: 1-2 Tbsp, if needed
Sprouts and Other Elements
- hazelnuts: about 100 g/3.5 oz
- soft goat cheese: about 100 g/3.5 oz
- chives: about 5 g/0.2 oz, finely minced to make about 2 Tbsp
- fresh ground pepper: 1 tsp
- lemon zest: from 1 lemon, zested, then minced fine
- olive oil: about 125 ml/4 fl oz/0.5 cup
- garlic: 6-8 cloves, peeled and finely sliced
- red chili: (optional) 0.5-1 fresh red chili, finely sliced, or 0.5-1 tsp dried chili flakes
- Brussels sprouts: about 500g/18 oz
- lemon: juice from half of the lemon above
- Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese: about 60 g/2 oz finely grated
- Make the dough.
— Puree the beetrootB using a juicer, blender, food processor, etc. If using a blender or food processor, strain through a fine mesh sieve. You will need about 5 Tbsp of liquid.
— Add the flour to a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center.
— Add the eggs and beetroot puree to the well in the flour and whisk the egg and beetroot together for 1-2 minutes until completely blended.
— Mix all the ingredients together until the flour is completely incorporated and no white spots are visible. If the mixture is too dry, add water in 1 tsp increments. If the dough is too sticky, add a bit more flour.
— Remove the dough to a work surface and knead for 8-10 minutes.
- Rest the dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap to keep the air out. Rest for 1 hour at room temperature if using the same day or refrigerate overnight if using later, bringing to room temperature before rolling out.
- Roll and cut the pasta.
— Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Work with 1 portion at a time, leaving the remaining pieces wrapped up.
— Put the pasta machine rollers to the widest setting. Roll the pasta through this setting 4 times, folding the dough over in half after each rolling(except the last rolling).
— Then roll the dough once through each of the next settings, stopping with the next to last setting (the last, or thinnest setting is normally used for filled pastas). Put the dough aside to rest, then continue with the remaining pieces.
— Change the machine to the cutting roller. I used the thin tagliarini/linguini size but you can use a wider cut if you wish. Run each piece through the cutter and lay out on a surface. If making pasta the same day, allow to dry out for at least an hour or leave overnight at room temperature covered with a towel.
- Toast and grind the hazelnuts.
— Heat an oven to 180 C/350 F and roast the nuts in a single layer for about 15 minutes.
— To remove the skins, place in a wire mesh sieve set over a bowl and rub until the skins come off. This will likely not remove every piece, but it’s not critical for this recipe. If most of the skins are difficult to remove, roast for a few minutes longer, then try again.
— Using a spice grinder, food processor, or knife, finely chop the nuts.
- Make the goat cheese mixture. Mix the goat cheese, chives, black pepper, and lemon zest to the together using a spatula or spoon. Keep cold until before serving time.
- Make the garlic oil.
— In a small saucepan, add the olive oil and garlic slices and optional chili slices. Bring the heat to medium high and cook for about 7-9 minutes, until the garlic just begins to brown.
— Remove the pan from the heat and pour all contents into a container and allow to cool and for the garlic to steep longer. (the garlic will continue to brown a bit).
— Once cool, strain out the garlic and chili. Discard the garlic and keep as much chili as you want and pasta Steps 4 and 5 below (we won’t use it in the sprouts).
- Sauté the sprouts.
— Cut off the stems from the sprouts and remove any dark outer leaves. Pass them through a grating disc in the food processor or very finely chop with a knife. (I’ve found trying to manually grate the leaves doesn’t work well.)
— Heat a large frying pan to medium high heat. Add 3 tablespoons of the garlic oil and allow to get hot. Add the sprouts to the pan and mix completely with the oil. Saute the sprouts until they get nice brown spots, about 4-5 minutes. Only stir every 45-60 seconds to allow the browning to happen.
— Remove from the heat, season with salt to taste, and keep warm. Squeeze the lemon in only just before serving (this keeps the sprouts from turning pale due to the acid in the lemon juice)
- Cook the pasta.
— Bring about 1 liter/32 oz water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil.
— Heat the rest of the oil (and any desired chili) over medium heat into a pan large enough to hold the pasta. Once hot, remove from the heat.
— Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes, then remove the pasta over to the pan with the oil. Stir in the Grana Padano/Parm cheese until well incorporated.
- Final plating.
— Divide the sprouts amongst the 4 plates, then top with a portion of pasta.
— Top the pasta with the toasted hazelnuts, then add large spoonful of the goat cheese mixture to the top of the pasta.
Notes & Tips
A. Buying Beetroot. I’m able to buy pre-roasted beetroot here in Switzerland but if you cannot find it, you can simply roast raw beetroot covered in foil for 45-60 minutes until soft. Allow to cool, then peel. You will need to increase the amount you buy to 600-700 g/21-24 oz or so to include the extra weight of skin/stem, etc. If you have beetroot juice available, you can use that directly in the recipe and skip the juicing/pureeing step. This needs to be pure beetroot juice though with no sugar or other ingredients added.
B. Pureeing Beetroot. I used a juicer to get my liquid for the dough but you can also use a blender, food processor or Nutribullet type of device. If you are not able to get 5 tablespoons of liquid out, you may need to add more water during the pasta dough mixing step.