If you think you can sell beet pasta to your three year-old on the basis that it’s pink, you will probably be wrong. But if you want to use your CSA beets in a new and interesting way, this is for you. When I set out to make the gnocchi, I was put off by the idea of having to roll and cut all those pieces of pasta. But when I made this dough, I realized it was soft enough to pipe directly into the boiling water. That shaved at least an hour off the total prep time.
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
3 medium beets (about 8 oz), peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 whole eggs
1 t kosher salt
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 c AP flour
Browned butter and grated cheese for serving
Boil the potatoes in salted water until they are tender and easily mashed. Set aside. Separately, steam the beets until they are also fork tender – about 20-30 minutes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Meanwhile build the pasta dough.
Combine the cooked beets and potatoes in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse, scraping frequently, until they are very smooth. Add the two eggs and continue to pulse and scrape until very smooth. Add salt and pepper. Add 1 c of flour a quarter cup at a time, pulsing for about 10 seconds after each addition. At this point, the dough should be starting to form and stick. Turn the dough out onto a floured counter and knead in another 1/2 c of flour. The dough should be the consistency of very soft bread dough. It should hold its shape just barely enough to be rolled into ropes. Add additional flour, 1/4 c at a time, until the dough is this consistency. It should not be too firm, or you will not be able to pipe it.
Fit a very large (1/2″ to 1″) star or round tip onto a 16″ or larger piping bag. If you don’t have a star tip or piping bag, you can cut the corner off a gallon sized plastic zip-top bag for the same effect. Spoon the dough into the piping bag. Hold the piping bag with one hand and a small paring knife with another. Working over the pot of boiling water, squeeze about 1″ of dough out and cut it off with the paring knife. Continue working until you’ve cut about 20-30 pieces into the water. The gnocchi are done when they are all floating – about 2-3 minutes. Scoop the gnocchi out with a slotted spoon into a serving bowl. Continue working in batches until all the gnocchi are prepared.
Serve warm drizzled with browned butter and grated cheese.