Monday, August 29, 2011

R Week- Rainbow Rigatoni

I had never realized how easy it is to dye pasta. Armed with the little bit of knowledge that it takes, I got to work.

I colored two 16oz. boxes of pasta, one rigatoni and the other salad macaroni. I divided each of the boxes into six more or less equal amounts. Next, I took six quart-size zip-top bags and poured 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol in each one. You can use vinegar instead of rubbing alcohol if you prefer. After 10 to 12 drops of food coloring in each bag, they were ready for the pasta. I put the filled and sealed bags on a foil-lined cookie sheet to contain any potential spills. I left the bags like that all day, turning them a few times, although I think an hour or two would have been sufficient. Once I was ready to dry the noodles, I drained out as much liquid as possible in the sink and then dumped the pasta back onto the foil-lined cookie sheet with a few added layers of paper towels to absorb the remaining liquid.

I put the tray outside to dry since the alcohol smell was quite potent. If outside is not an option, I would suggest a garage or other place where no one has to smell it. It dried quickly, but I ended up leaving it outside for about 24 hours to completely get rid of the smell. The colors were definitely lighter once they dried, but looked great nonetheless. I'm guessing that the color would have been a little more even if I had just used one size of noodles.

Basic pasta-dyeing formula:

1/4 cup rubbing alcohol or vinegar
10 to 12 drops food coloring
about 1 cup pasta
a zip-top bag

Mix alcohol/vinegar with food coloring in bag. Add pasta and seal. Let sit for 2+ hours (or as long as you leave it), turn once or twice. Drain as much liquid as possible then let pasta dry on paper towels. Air out for up to 24 hours to eliminate alcohol/vinegar smell. This recipe can be doubled for larger amounts of pasta.

I had hoped to get Trip to string the rigatoni on a shoelace but he wasn't interested so I made him a necklace that he enjoyed.

The rainbow salad macaroni was perfect for our R hide and seek bowl.

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