Give Homemade Pasta A Pop Of Color With Leftover Tomato Paste

Red spaghetti noodles surrounded by tomato
Red spaghetti noodles surrounded by tomato - Alesia.Bierliezova/Shutterstock

If you want to really impress your family on pasta night, one easy way to do that is by making homemade pasta. Not only does it tend to have more flavor than the store-bought variety, but it's also surprisingly easy to make, requiring just a few ingredients that most people already have in their pantries — namely eggs, flour, salt, and oil.

Whether you're already a pasta-making pro or just starting out, you don't have to stick with basic dough. You can mix things up and add a pop of color and a very faint hint of flavor by incorporating extra mix-ins into your standard recipe. One such ingredient that can really brighten up your dish is tomato paste. The resulting dough will have a slight orange hue that can make your pasta noodles look even more vibrant. Plus, it's a great way to use up those pesky leftovers that have been lingering around, while also boosting the flavor profile of your final dish.

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Tomato Paste Adds Color And Subtle Flavor To Your Dough

Making homemade pasta dough
Making homemade pasta dough - Anchiy/Getty Images

When using tomato paste in your pasta dough, aim to add between one and four tablespoons of tomato paste for every two cups of flour in your dough, depending on how vibrant you'd like your noodles to be. Make a well in the flour and add the tomato paste along with your eggs and salt (and any other ingredients you typically include at this stage). Then, continue mixing and kneading your dough as usual.

Once your dough is ready, you can shape it into whatever forms you prefer. For example, you could turn your dough into tasty ravioli, filling them with ricotta and tomato to enhance the subtle flavor of the dough. Alternatively, you could roll it into spaghetti noodles and opt for a simple butter and garlic sauce to allow the pasta's faint, unique taste to stand out. The choice is yours!

After mastering the addition of tomato paste to standard dough, consider experimenting with different types of flour in your pasta. You could make a hearty whole-grain pasta, or use semolina flour in the dough. While the flavor profile may change, the dough will still possess that distinctive orange hue thanks to the tomato.

Other Ways To Give Your Pasta A Burst Of Color

Rows of homemade colored pasta
Rows of homemade colored pasta - Alle12/Getty Images

Using tomato paste in your pasta dough is just one way to add some brightness to your meal. You can also introduce a splash of color with other mix-ins. An easy ingredient that can give an even brighter orange tone is combining pureed carrot or butternut squash with an equal amount of tomato paste. Then, use the same amount of this mixture as you would tomato paste in your pasta dough. Alternatively, for a more reddish tone, you can use beetroot puree in your mixture instead of the tomato paste.

On the other end of the spectrum, you can create yellow-hued pasta by adding turmeric or curry powder to your dough. The resulting tone is much brighter than the pale yellow of classic pasta, and can also impart subtle notes of the spices to your noodles, adding a unique twist of flavor. Whichever one of these easy additions you choose for your dough, you'll end up with a brighter platter and a way to impress the crowd the next time you cook up a pot of pasta!

Read the original article on Daily Meal.