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DIY Rainbow Pasta Takes Dinner to the Next Level

Banish beige from your dinner table with this colorful homemade pasta. With this simple method, you can create rainbow hues by adding all-natural colors from vegetables and spices. The visual effect is stunning, but the effect on taste is very slight, so even your pickiest eater will scarf them down.

Rainbow ravioli by Salty Seattle

Rainbow ravioli by Salty Seattle

We caught up with Linda Miller Nicholson, a popular food blogger and pasta-preneur also known as Salty Seattle, who developed this technique as a way to sneak healthy veggies into her son’s diet. She recently demonstrated her process for rainbow pasta on Facebook Live. Watch the replay – and read step-by-step instructions below.

How to Make Rainbow Cheese Ravioli

  1. Start by making homemade pasta, using your favorite recipe, or one from Allrecipes, such as fresh semolina and egg pasta. Then add color. Nicholson recommends starting small and then adding until you have the shade you want. Her general rule to start: For every 1.5 cup of flour, use 2 eggs, and at least 3 tablespoons of color additive. Use a blender to mix the color additive with the eggs first, then add to the flour. Blend until the dough is uniform to avoid chunks in the pasta dough.  Try these ideas for creating colors:
  • Green: kale and peas
  • Red/Pink: Beets turn dough really pink. Linda mixes in paprika or jarred peppers to make a redder hue.
  • Orange: paprika, turmeric
  • Yellow: turmeric, eggs
  • Blue (the hardest color to create): blue-green algae or spirulina with a little red cabbage
  • Purple: red cabbage tempered with a little beet

Rainbow Pasta dough by Salty Seattle

Rainbow Pasta dough by Salty Seattle

  1. Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes, then roll it out as thin as you can. Use a wheel pasta cutter to slice into strips, then create your pattern, using water to help strips stick together. (See demonstration in video above.)
  1. Roll to a thin layer again, using a rolling pin or pasta roller, and use flour and a dough scraper to remove from counter. Cut into squares.
  1. Mix up the filling of your choice. For Nicolson’s giant ravioli with cheese and egg recipe, make a simple blend of ricotta cheese with a dash each of nutmeg, salt, and pepper. You can also try a simple spinach, feta, and pine nut or meat and spinach
  1. Place a scoop of filling in the center of each ravioli, then dab the edges with egg white to help the top and bottom sheets stick together.

To make giant ravioli with cheese and egg (as demonstrated in the video), follow these steps:

  1. Make rainbow ravioli squares as above, but cut into very large (6” x 6” or so) squares.
  1. Put a dab of flour in the middle of each square, then add the filling, creating a “nest” in the middle with your fingers.
  1. Add an egg yolk to middle of cheese nest; top with a pat of butter to keep the egg yolk from touching the top sheet of pasta (this will make the ravioli fall apart when cooking).
  1. Dab the edges of the pasta with egg white to help the top and bottom sheets stick together.
  1. Gently press pasta together around the cheese filling, using fingers or the flip side of a cookie cutter.

Place your ravioli into boiling water for no longer than 3-4 minutes, then serve with the sauce and veggies of your choice.


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About Kristen Russell

Omnivore with a passion for goat cheese, good wine, and anything eaten next to a campfire.