Growing up, we’ve always been told not to play with our food. But what’s a meal without a little imagination to make every forkful more fun?
Linda Miller Nicholson, a Washington-based pasta artist who runs the Instagram account saltyseattle, creates super vibrant, patterned pasta dishes.
Nicholson’s grandparents taught her how to make pasta when she was four years old!!!
All of her creations are colored 100% naturally. She uses pigment from fruits, herbs, and vegetables — like roasted peppers, dragonfruit, turmeric, and parsley — to bring her dishes to life.
“I had been adding things like beets and spinach to pasta for years, but when my son went through a picky-with-vegetables phase a few years ago, I decided to expand the array of vegetables I used to color pasta. Suddenly, I had a healthy rainbow of pasta colors,” Nicholson told BuzzFeed.
According to Nicholson, it’s almost impossible to detect the vegetable taste in the pasta after it’s been boiled and tossed in sauce.
However, some ingredients — like harissa, which she uses to create orange-colored pasta — do yield a stronger flavor.
It’s actually a pretty genius way to get suuuper picky kids to eat their veggies.
Pasta is typically made with flour, water, eggs, and salt. She simply creates a purée using eggs and whatever ingredient she’s using for color. Then, she adds that purée to the flour to create the pasta dough.
After she rolls, cuts, and shapes the dough, the result is a mesmerizing spread of edible, carb-filled art!
She sometimes posts short videos illustrating her process for making some of her designs.
Some patterns are designed on traditional pasta shapes, like ravioli.
Others are inspired by foods, everyday objects, and even pop culture.
Like, I cannot be the only one who thinks that this ladybug-inspired plate is just TOO DANG CUTE.
And this mermaid tail made strictly out of pasta just makes you wanna dive right in with a fork!
And FYI, this ISN’T a bowl of Fruity Pebbles — it’s pasta!!!
According to Nicholson’s Instagram post, the Sardinian pasta is called fregola sarda, and it’s often found in soupy dishes.
Nicholson has made more than a thousand pasta types, and she even invents new shapes. But her favorite so far has been a creation inspired by The Handmaid’s Tale.
Clearly, I’m personally obsessed with this woman’s masterpieces, so excuse me while I continue drooling over a few more of her creations.
All I’m saying is, you literally cannot get rigatoni like this from the grocery store!!!
In conclusion, I will never be able to look at pasta the same way ever again.
I could sit here and show you all of Nicholson’s yummy-looking masterpieces, but it’ll only make me hungrier! Check out her Instagram account to see more of her work.
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