Ben Bayly's Beetroot Pasta

In this recipe the dehydrated beetroot can be replaced by a puree made from well-cooked roasted beetroot as long as a couple of the egg yolks are removed to allow for the extra moisture. I even grate small fresh beetroots into the pasta to add extra texture and flavor. Paua is like the beetroot of the sea and I love the combination of an iconic New Zealand shellfish with a vegetable that has been brutalized though canning in this country for far too long!


Beetroot pasta:
300g “00” flour
10g freeze dried beetroot powder (available from Fresh as)
5 egg yolks
1 egg
pinch salt

12 quails eggs (you can get 'em at Ponsonby New World)

1 paua

30g diced pancetta

2 shallots finely sliced

2 cloves of garlic finely sliced

12 oyster mushroom

lug of olive oil

1 Tbsp. soy

juice of one lemon

50 g butter

100mls pasta cooking water

handful of chopped chives

pinch of salt


Beetroot pasta:

Blend all ingredients together, place onto the bench and kneed until it forms a tight dough.
Cover with cling film and let rest for 30min.
Roll thru a pasta machine until you have a thin pasta sheet about 1/8 cm thick. Slice into tagliatelle with a sharp knife.
Cook in boiling water for 1 minute, drain and toss with olive oil, set aside. 100mls of cooking water for the paua sauce-see below
Quails eggs:
Boil a pot of water
Carefully place quails eggs into the water, keep it boiling and cook for exactly 2min and 15seconds, remove and place into cold water to stop the cooking.
Carefully peel, and reserve for the garnish
Paua & paua sauce:
Soak paua in cold water for 30min to dispatch it, give the foot of the paua a good scrub.
Place the paua in a cool fry pan foot side down, with a lug of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
Warm the pan up slowly on the stove then place in a oven at 100 degrees c for exactly 1 hour. Take the paua out of the pan, but do not chuck out the paua/pan juices or wash the pan, you need it for the sauce....
The thing about paua is they have a bad rap for being tough and chewy, that's because I think people apply too much heat to them. I like to cook them long and slow.
Shuck the paua out of its shell while warm, you will see there is a small amount of guts, its easy to remove- discard it.
Now shave or slice the paua real thin, put aside.
Warm up the paua pan on the stove, add the pancetta and fry then add and start to cook the shallots, garlic and oyster mushrooms until soft.
Deglaze the pan with the soy, add the squeeze of lemon juice, the butter, the pasta water and the pasta, bring up to the heat and add the chopped chives and the paua, serve straight away, garnish with the quails eggs and freshly grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
I buy live paua from Kiwi Fish near the fish market, they are expensive but one paua will do 6 people as an entree.