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My fresh pasta lacks the appetizing yellow color


Karldub
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Hi!

I've been making fresh pasta quite a few times, using different recipes with lots of egg yolks as well as using tipo 00 flour, but my pasta always comes out pretty boring looking after it's been cooked. Taste is just fine though.

Anyway, last week a had a meal at Mario Batali restaurant Babbo, and the stuffed pasta I ate were really delicious and had that strong yellowish color mine is missing.

Has anybody had this problem, knows how to fix it? I've seen some recipe (not batalis) putting in turmeric for colour which I'm pretty sure is not how they do it in Italy.

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It's all about the eggs, or rather, what the chickens that laid the eggs ate. Farm eggs from pastured chickens tend to have bright yellow yolks. The eggs I use on a a daily basis have more muted color. I think that's where the bright color of pasta comes from: chicken food.

nunc est bibendum...

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Like vice said, how many yolks? I use two large yolks to 100g of flour and I get a pleasing yellow colour. My eggs are free-range, which, as many have said above, makes an enormous difference. Chickens that eat grass and bugs make better-coloured yolks than those that only eat processed food.

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whenever you have seen deep yellow pasta, 9 out of 10 times (or greater perhaps) it has been dyed. I actually like a somewhat duller color pasta, then I at least know it wasn't dyed.

If you have the best egg yolks with true color, you can taste it. It's quite rare though.

Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

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I second the semolina flour recommendation. I really like the flavor and texture I get with it better than white flour. Hard to control the "yellowness" of the eggs you can get, but you can always add an extra yolk or two for color.

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Everything I wanted to say about this topic has already been stated above. However, to recap:

Make sure the egg yolks you're using are bright orange (free range are best). I like the above mentioned ratio: 2 egg yolks to 100 grams flour. Depending on the egg, a little extra moisture might be needed (just add some more water)

Substitute at least 25% of the flour with semolina. The formula I like to use is 400 grams flour and 100 grams semolina. For deeper yellow, use more semolina.

It is likely that the pasta you ate was colored. You can add food dye to it (very little, otherwise it turns electric yellow, and that just looks silly) or even some pumpkin purée. Most of the times, whatever purée is added to pasta will have no effect on the flavor, but that depends on the sauce, as well.

Edited by godito (log)

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The best pasta I make is with duck eggs and saffron, like in the dish pictured. You don't need a lot of saffron either with the method I use. Buy saffron strands because the powdered stuff has little flavour and is more for colour. So for about 150g (about 2 portions) of flour take half a pinch of saffron strands and grind them in a mortar with a pinch of salt to a fine powder, then in the same mortar crack the duck egg yolks and a little water if required. Beat it well so all the saffron is incorporated, you literally only need a few strands with this method. The salt has a dual purpose of grinding the saffron and breaking down the eggs but not enough the affect the pasta, works a treat.

gallery_52657_5922_163719.jpg

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Free range is the humane way to keep hens.

But very few 'free range' hens are 100% forage-fed.

The colour of the yolks depends on what the hens have been eating.

Maize (US "corn") chicken-food makes for very yellow yolks. Naturally.

Harold McGee says the same Xanthophylls can come from Alfalfa.

And that some producers add Marigold leaves to the feed to get even more colour.

He doesn't mention that some processed feeds may contain yolk-colouring dyes as additives ...

But the easy (commercial) way to get yellow pasta is simply to colour the pasta!

Edited by dougal (log)

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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The best pasta I make is with duck eggs and saffron, like in the dish pictured. You don't need a lot of saffron either with the method I use. Buy saffron strands because the powdered stuff has little flavour and is more for colour. So for about 150g (about 2 portions) of flour take half a pinch of saffron strands and grind them in a mortar with a pinch of salt to a fine powder, then in the same mortar crack the duck egg yolks and a little water if required. Beat it well so all the saffron is incorporated, you literally only need a few strands with this method. The salt has a dual purpose of grinding the saffron and breaking down the eggs but not enough the affect the pasta, works a treat.

One trick I like to use to get even more color & flavor our of the saffron is, after grinding, to mix it with 1 oz of vodka, heat it in the microwave until boiling & then let it steep for 1/2 an hour. The alcohol in the vodka helps pull out even more of flavor.

PS: I am a guy.

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