I have been making pasta with herbs for years now, a good party trick, easy and effective. But I never had much luck with flowers, usually I got strips of colour and little more... until now. I am not sure if this is the reason but... I made a little change to my pasta dough. Usually I make fresh pasta with flour and eggs, the ratio being 100 g of flour to one free range egg. This time for 300 g of flour and 3 eggs I also added 1 tbsp of olive oil. At first I did this to make my job easier: I have little cold hands, not really suitable for pasta making. I could never do what my Grandmother did: work with a huge mass of 1 kg, all by hand and with the rolling pin. But she was a real Emiliana (from Emilia Romagna), with strong harms, and she started to make pasta at a very young age.
I picked some herbs and flowers from my garden. I rolled the pasta with a manual pasta machine down to the lower setting (very thin). Then I placed some leaves (and flowers) on the pasta (if it gets dry just brush the spot with a little water), folded some more pasta over and sprinkled with a little flour.
I set the pasta machine back to the second lower setting a put the pasta through the rollers again.
I think that you could easily stop here and cut your pasta, but I like fresh pasta to be very very thin, so I passed the pasta once more through the roller on the last setting. The pasta didn't break, and the leaves and petals flatten beautifully. I really like the patterns, especially the one the chives made.
Then I cut the pasta out with a pasty cutter: Here is the Italian parsley
Do not use rosemary or even sage, they are too thick and will break the pasta.
I cooked the pasta in salted boiling water. It only takes a couple of minutes because it is so thin, and the colours stayed!!! Usually I dress fresh pasta with butter, sage and parmesan cheese, but I didn't add sage this time because I wanted to taste the herbs and flowers in the pasta. Also I have to say that butter in NZ is really tasty, yellow and creamy (because cows eat green grass all year round).
The Vietnamese mint has a strong but super pleasant and fresh taste. Parsley and chives also had a lot of taste, basil and oregano less. Among the flowers the winner was the rose, I could really taste it. I am quite happy with the result, an easy but effective and delicate dish which could do well for important occasions.