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March 2014


    Beetroot Pasta with Crispy Pancetta, Blue Cheese, Caramelised Pear and Walnuts


    If there’s anything I care about with my whole heart – it’s pasta. As a kid my Nonna used to hand make all of her pasta. Eating her food as a family is one of my fondest memories growing up.  To this day, no pasta dish has ever quite topped her butternut and sage ravioli. Feeling nostalgic, I decided to make my own batch of tagliatelle this week. Pasta is my favorite food. Not only is pasta simple, tasty and super diverse – but when made fresh everyone gets involved to help out. I started out making the dough by myself, but when it came to using the pasta machine you always need a few extra hands!


    I was inspired to make this Beetroot pasta by The Chiappas. I found the Chiappas sisters through Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube channel and instantly fell inlove with their easy to do, delicious italian recipes.

    This particular recipe was found off their website – and here it is!

    Beetroot Pasta //

    75g cooked beetroot

    1 large free-range eggs

    200g tipo “00″ flour

    Extra flour and fine polenta, for dusting


    Pancetta, Caramelised Pear, Blue Cheese and Walnut Sauce //

    6 slices pancetta

    2 small pears, skin on, cored and sliced Knob of butter A few sprigs thyme 50g chopped walnuts

    1 tbsp brown sugar

    100g rocket

    Making the pasta //

    Blend the beetroot in a food processor until you have a rough paste. Add your egg and a pinch of salt, then continue blending to form a smooth purée. This will give the dough its vibrant colour. It looks a lot like play dough!


    Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and create a well in the centre. Pour in the pink purée and mix with a fork to form a dough. When the dough starts to form and become sticky, turn the mix out onto a floured work surface and knead together until you have a silky smooth, elastic dough.

    Add extra flour if necessary and knead until the dough stops sticking to your hands. Cover with cling film and rest for 30 minutes. Once rested, start the typical pasta machine process.





    Making the sauce //

    Set a large frying pan over a medium heat. Place the pancetta into your pan and cook until crisp. Remove the pancetta from the pan and set aside, leaving the fat behind in the pan.

    Add the pears, a knob of butter, salt, pepper and thyme to the same pan and fry until golden. Remove and set aside.

    Put the walnuts in the same pan (you want to retain all the juices of the pancetta and pear) and sprinkle in the sugar. Once the sugar has melted, place the pears back in the pan and stir to coat in the caramel. Take off the heat and leave to one side while you cook the pasta.

    Drop your pasta into the boiling water, let it sit for a few seconds, check that it is al dente, then pull out with tongs and place into your saucepan of nuts and pear. Throw in the rocket and sprinkle in most of the cooked pancetta. Give it a good shake so that the pasta is well coated.


    To serve, sprinkle with a few small chunks of blue cheese cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.