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Playing with pasta

02
Dec

Alchemy of natural colours

Our last supper club was magical. My intention was to experiment as much as possible with as many colours as possible on a simple, familiar pasta shape: ravioli. The colour added a playful dimension that transported some of the club foodies to their childhood memories of playing with Play-Doh.

People often can’t believe that colours can be achieved without additives. In actual fact, all the colours I use come from pretty basic natural ingredients. It’s the cooking process -the alchemy- that brings out the intensity. Given adding colour to pasta can only add to its nutrients without altering its flavour, there are as many possibilities as colours one can create.

Here’s a wizzard’s guide to some of the colours and techniques I use:

Green (from darker to lighter shades): Kale, spinach, pea, avocado

BlueBlue Indian tea

Red: Tomato puree, paprika

Lilac: Red cabbage

Orange: Pumpkin, carrot 

Black: Squid ink

Yellow: Turmeric

Pink: Beetroot 

 

Layered style:

Wild mushrooms and pancetta ravioli with spinach and ricotta sauce
Pheasant onion and pine nuts ravioli with wild mushroom and truffles

Salted cod and honey ravioli with tomato, capers and walnuts sauce

Overlay of shapes style:

Pork belly and apple ravioli with cabbage and pork jus

Pumpkin and goat cheese ravioli with tomato and black olive sauce

 

Spiral style

Crab and leek ravioli with peppers and nuts ragout

One colour style

Strawberry and mint ravioli with hot vanilla custard and chocolate foam