By Irene See
Blue pea flower is full of potent antioxidants. It’s healthy for cooking and baking. Here’s a colourful way to make pasta…laminated with freshly harvested blue pea flowers. They add a distinctive colour to the dish.
Total Time: 2 hours
A: Pasta Dough
255g (2 cups) plain flour*
1 tablespoon glutinous flour
¼ teaspoon salt
50ml water, room temperature
2 tablespoons cooking oil/olive oil
2 large eggs
B: To Laminate Pasta
Approximately 20-30 pieces blue pea flowers
Red chilli, cut and seeded, optional
1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine A ingredients except for water.
2. Mix well using a pair of chopsticks. Add water little by little to form a firm dough; it should be moist and not too wet nor too dry.
3. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for approximately 5 minutes. Once it comes smooth, cover it with a clean kitchen towel. Allow it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Divide dough into two portions.
4. Meanwhile, pluck out and discard inner petals as well as green stems at the base of flowers. Retain larger outer petals as they exude a more vibrant colour. Set them aside and cover with a moistened tea towel.
5. Using a rolling pin, roll out each portion of dough evenly into a sheet. Repeat with the other portion. Set them aside.
6. Spread one pasta sheet on a flat surface. Arrange flowers on pasta sheet, taking care not to break the fragile petals. Using your fingers, gently flatten and press flowers into the dough.
7. If chilli is preferred, sprinkle them among the flowers.
8. Cover laminated sheet with plain pasta sheet.
Dip a pastry brush into water and brush edges of pasta to seal them. Alternatively, dab water onto the pasta sheet using the index finger. Lightly dust laminated pasta sheets with some flour.
9. Roll out evenly till approximately 3cm thin. The thinner the pasta sheets, the more vibrant the blue of the flowers.
10. Fold pasta sheets. Dust with more flour to prevent noodle strands from sticking together. Using a sharp knife, cut into thin strips of desired width.
11. Loosen noodles with more flour if required. Cook pasta as desired – Western or Asian. It is best served on the same day as pasta is made.
12. Apart from cooking it the Italian way, enjoy noodles cooked Chinese style, stir-fried with vegetables and meat, tossed in some abalone sauce and topped with store-bought sambal.
TIP: Use fresh flowers and chilli to laminate pasta. As they’re moist, it makes it easier to embed both ingredients into the freshly made dough.
TECHNIQUE: Glutinous flour gives the pasta a chewy texture and makes it more resilient. For added fibre, mix equal portions of atta flour and plain flour.
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