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My daughter asked me if I could make her red bowtie pasta in honor of Matt Smith as Dr. Who.

I'd rather not use an artificial dye. Either way, how would I go about coloring the pasta itself? Assume that I am starting from store-bought dry pasta. Would I have to add the dye to the water in large quantities, or would adding some to melted butter and tossing work?

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possible duplicate of What ingredients can be added to pasta to give a different color? –  razumny Oct 30 '13 at 9:32
@razumny For me, the wording of the question body was clearly referring to premade pasta. Now that you understood it to encompass pasta from scratch too, I would normally ask the OP to clarify. In this case, if he really meant from scratch, we would have to close as a dupe, so I will edit the title to cover the other case only. This way, we have an interesting question even if the OP decides to go for self-made pasta. –  rumtscho Oct 30 '13 at 10:00
@rumtscho: I must have missed that when I read the question originally. Drat... –  razumny Oct 30 '13 at 10:32
@razumny you didn't miss it, I added it to the body. This is a case where I deliberately changed the meaning of a question to refer to only one of two possible interpretations. It is not done normally, but in the case that the OP had had the alternative interpretation in mind, the q would have been closed anyway, so I decided that it is justified this time. –  rumtscho Oct 30 '13 at 10:35

3 Answers 3

I've tried dying pasta by just adding food dye to the boiling water, but you don't get very deep colors.

I then tried letting it sit in the (cooled) water for a while, but it really didn't get that deep. (I didn't care about the texture as much; I needed something to use as intestines for halloween a few years back)

If you have the time, it might be easier to just make fresh pasta.

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On the other hand, even just tossing with beets turns it pink. Coloring after draining might be more promising? –  Jefromi Oct 30 '13 at 2:54
@Jefromi : I could never get anything more than a pink ... not even a deep pink. (I ended up adding blue to get it more purplish). I don't know if vingear would've helped, as that helps to set the color on eggs (but I think that's in part to eat at the calcium) and on really bright t-shirts. –  Joe Oct 30 '13 at 3:23
Yeah, make it from scratch. Tomatoes or beets to make it red, spinach to make it green. –  citizen Oct 30 '13 at 9:36
Purple cabbage could also help to get colors anywhere from blue to red. The vinegar might not do much to set the color, but it could keep it stable since lot of natural pigments change depending on the pH. –  sourd'oh Oct 30 '13 at 16:53

You are not stating whether you are making the pasta yourself or if you are using premade pasta. I am going to assume it is the former.

For red pasta, I would recommend substituting some of the liquids with beetroot juice. You will need to experiment with it to get the color right.

I would also recommend trying it in pasta both with and without egg, as the yolk will play a role in how the color develops.

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If you just happen to have a vacuum pump, you can try infusing the color similar to this article. This method should push the color all the way through.

Otherwise, making it from scratch is the way to go. This video explains how.

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Interesting idea, and I am tempted to upvote, but do you think it will really work? The article mentions that the fruits should be airy enough, and pasta is rather dense in its structure. Do you know of somebody having success with that, or was it just an idea to try it with pasta too? –  rumtscho Oct 30 '13 at 17:38
@rumtscho, have seen Dave Arnold (the inspiration to the article) infuse denser things and the physics of it are sound (Pasta flour granules are huge by comparison and fairly porous). –  MandoMando Nov 1 '13 at 14:04

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