Princess {Beet} Pasta

by brookefiore

DSC_0045One of my favorite things to pick up while at Whole Foods is a big bushel or three of orange and red beets. Beets offer a host of health benefits, can be fairly versatile, easily adapted into recipes and their ability to serve double duty (think beets and leafy greens) are just a few of the reasons I try to pick up a bunch whenever I pass through the produce section.

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As far back as I can remember, my mother has eaten beets like they were going out of style. Pickled with onions, prepared from the store mostly. But recently, I’ve been grating, slicing, roasting and baking beets into a variety of dishes. Beet chips, beet burgers, roasted beet salad, I feared I was running out of ideas and perhaps my family was fearing there would be no end in sight so long as beets remained in season…

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Though the beets at the farmer’s market are a bit smaller than the gigantic counterparts residing at Whole Foods, the color is rich, the produce is local and I am very thankful to find them in such fresh and convenient proximity.

I’ve found that beets are to goat cheese what jelly is to peanut butter so it was a given that my next dish would feature the two together. I was very surprised that several beet pasta recipes do not require the act of making homemade pasta. Thank goodness for that.

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This was also a perfect opportunity to pluck a handful of chives from the backyard garden which is thriving as spring fever floods the region.

If you’re wondering about the name, the other day I attended a nutrition conference in which a psychiatrist spoke about a feeding disorder clinic. The technique of adding sour cream to ketchup to boost calories in picky eaters was so perfectly recalled as princess ketchup. I felt that the sweet pink/magenta hue of this pasta was deserving of a similar name. Though the beets do not significantly boost the caloric content of the pasta, they do pack an added punch of fiber and antioxidants.

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Princess {Beet} Pasta

Serves 2 to 3

Adapted from Not Without Salt

 Ingredients:

1 pound cooked bow tie pasta (I love Ronzoni Smart Taste for its ability to look and taste like a white pasta with the fiber content comparable to whole wheat pasta)

drizzle of olive oil

1/2 small yellow onion, roughly chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

one bunch of beets, washed and grated (my bunch contained four beets that were slightly larger than golf balls)

juice from 1/2 of a lemon

salt and pepper as desired

3/4  cup of toasted walnuts

crumbled goat cheese as desired

5 or 6 chives, chopped

Cooking Instructions:

Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving 3/4 cup of cooking liquid.

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a deep skillet or pot over medium heat. Once shimmering hot, add garlic and onion and cook until soft, about 5 min.  Add beets and cook 10 minutes.

Add cooking liquid to beet mixture, stirring frequently until the majority of liquid has evaporated.

 Add lemon juice, then salt and pepper to taste.

Add beet mixture to pasta and toss until pasta is evenly coated.

Top with chopped chives, toasted walnuts and goat cheese.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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