Homemade Pasta: 5 Ways To Add Color and Flavor

Having mastered basic homemade pasta dough, we've started experimenting with various add-ins, from roasted vegetable purées to herbs and spices. Often times, these noodles are so pretty and flavorful that they hardly require a sauce. (On a weeknight, we'll just toss them with olive oil and maybe a little cheese.) Flavored pastas also make fantastic gifts. Here are a few ideas…

Unless otherwise noted, these ingredients may be added along with the eggs. If the mixture is too wet, you may need to add a little more flour.

Beets: The most talked-about fettuccine we've ever made had roasted red beet purée in the dough. The flavor is subtle but the color is stunning. Check out these pink pasta recipes for inspiration.

Chocolate: Mix a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder with the flour for a chocolate pasta that may be served for dinner or dessert.

Herbs: Add flecks of flavor with few tablespoons of finely minced fresh herbs like rosemary or sage. For a bolder green color and flavor, use a purée of soft herbs like basil or parsley.

Peppers: Add a couple of roasted and puréed red bell peppers for a pretty orange-red color and subtly sweet flavor. For a bolder flavor, try fresh or dried chile peppers.

Saffron: Combine a small pinch of saffron threads with a tablespoon of warm water and let stand for a few minutes. Mix this in with the eggs for a lovely golden pasta.

What are your favorite add-ins for homemade pasta?

Related: How To Make Pasta Like a Pro

(Image: Emily Ho)