Beet Pasta with Crème Fraiche and Caviar
Happy Valentines Day! This is an unusual pasta dish that totally fits the bill for dinner tonight. Sexy, exotic and beautiful. Oh yeah- and it tastes good.
This dish is the long ago buried art major in me that is obsessed with color and pretty. However, the good news is that this is also incredibly delicious.
I know that I am having a little love affair with the gorgeous color of beets, and since my beet cake left me unsatisfied in the way of color, here comes the pasta! I made homemade pasta dough for the first time in ages, and colored it with brilliant, beautiful beets. They did not disappoint in color or flavor.
But I think that the sexiness and luxury of this dish comes in with the topping of the pasta. While simple- it is an amazing combination and there is a good reason why cream fraiche and caviar is a classic. Before you turn your nose up or think it is too out there or too hard to find- wait!!! (Anywhere there is a Whole Foods- they sell fish eggs.) Don’t think you have to buy the expensive stuff- there are lots of domestic fish eggs that are inexpensive and very delicious. Just ask for help or better yet- samples. (However if you are in Seattle- think about visiting the Seattle Caviar Company- what a lovely little shop!)
So when you serve the pasta, let your loved one mix it all together. The hot pasta should kind of melt the crème fraiche into it, making it creamy. The little pops of salty, nutty caviar and tiny bits of oniony chive are soooo good!
½ cup chives, freshly minced
Crème Fraiche (or sour cream)
2 oz caviar
Place a sheet of parchment on the counter top.
Using a strainer, combine and sift the flours together onto the parchment.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle, combine the flour with the eggs, beets and salt.
Add water, 1 Tbs at a time until you have a thick, smooth dough, (2-3 Tbs of water).
Fit the mixer with a dough hook and continue to beat the dough on medium for a couple of minutes.
I took my dough ball out and kneaded it for a few more minutes with a tiny bit of flour to try to make it as smooth as my puny arms could get it. But if your mixer can do it (mine is acting up!) feel free to do it that way!
Cut the ball into six parts.
Cut each of those into 4 small balls.
Run the little dough balls through the pasta maker according to directions and to create the cut that you would like (I chose Bucatini- my favorite!)
Slice the pasta off at the appropriate length (mine were about 8” long ) and set them on a piece of parchment.
When you have made the pasta, spread them out on a surface, (I chose the backs of sheet pans). I spread them out to avoid them sticking as I let them dry out.
(if you weren’t sure bucatini is like a hollow spaghetti- so good!)
Boil a large pot of salted water.
Boil the pasta until just al dente- 2-3 minutes.
Drain and add to a bowl. Top with a few drizzles of Olive oil and freshly minced chives. Toss to coat.
Place the pasta on plates.
Top the pasta with a dollop of crème fraiche (or sour cream) and a dollop of caviar.
Drizzle the plate with a little good olive oil and serve.