Sunday, February 13, 2011

Beet Red Pasta

If you are one of those people who care about Valentine's Day, this would be a lovely thing to cook for your sweetheart tomorrow!

And if you don't care about Valentine's Day, well this would be a lovely thing to make anyways. Because, LOOK AT IT! It's just plain lovely!

It's basically a salad I really enjoy (beets and goat cheese) incorporated into a pasta dish, with the addition of the beet greens for extra nutrition. The best part is that those beautiful beets dye the pasta HOT PINK and it looks so pretty!

Beet Red Pasta
1 bunch beets (greens removed and washed and chopped, beets peeled and quartered)
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (the cheap stuff is OK here)
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1 box pasta (I used whole wheat linguine)

In a large stock pot, add peeled and quartered beets to about 6 cups water and bring to a boil, then add a handful of salt. Boil for about 10-15 minutes or until beets are tender when poked with a fork. Remove beets from water but don't dump out the pink water. When beets have cooled, slice or julienne them into fine little matchsticks.

Bring the reserved pink water back to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. When pasta is done, you still shouldn't dump out all the pink water! You'll use it again!

In a large skillet, heat about 2 Tbsp olive oil with 1 Tbsp butter and add red onion. Add salt and pepper. Cook 5-7 minutes over medium heat until softened. Add beets, beet greens, and balsamic vinegar. Cook until vinegar has made a nice glaze. Add a ladle or two of pink pasta water to make it saucier. Now you can dump out the leftover pink water.

Toss saucy beet mixture with cooked pasta and toasted walnuts. Serve hot topped with fresh crumbled goat cheese. And champagne.

ONE YEAR AGO: Fish Sandwiches

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