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« For Tomato Season: Roasted Tomato Soup with Parmesan Crisps | Main | Cherry Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream (with Cherry Pie) »
Sunday
Aug162009

Pasta with Roasted Beets, Beet Greens and Pine Nuts

When confronted with these beauties at the local farmers market, what would you do with them?

Growing up, I never liked beets. I think that's true of a lot of people because we were used to bad canned beets. The best way to enjoy beets is to buy them fresh, roast them simply in the oven, peel them and serve them with just a little olive oil and sea salt. When I started reading Sunday Suppers at Lucques by Suzanne Goin, it inspired me to cook beets this way and I've loved them ever since.

For this dish, you can use any pasta you like. I used a mezzi rigatoni, a half size rigatoni. Every part of the beet is used - the beet itself, the stems and the greens, so look for fresh beets with nice leaves. I added pancetta to this dish, but you could easily make it without and have a vegetarian version.

Pasta with Roasted Beets, Beet Greens & Pine Nuts

 

serves two

for a printer friendly recipe, click here
adapted from Gourmet

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 small bunch fresh beets with greens attached
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 ounces rigatoni or penne pasta
  • sea salt and ground fresh pepper

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice beets off of stems, leaving about 1/2 inch of the stem intact. Wash beets thoroughly, but do not peel. Line a sheet pan with foil and place beets on pan. Sprinkle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and add about 1/4 cup of water to pan. Cover with foil. Roast for about 30-40 minutes, depending on size of beets, until they can be easily pierced with a knife. Keep warm.
Place pine nuts in small fry pan and, stirring over medium heat, toast until lightly golden. Set aside.

Bring a pot of well salted water to a boil. Slice beet green stems into 1 inch pieces. Slice greens into large slices.

In a large saute pan, fry the pancetta until just crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. If there is a lot of fat, drain fat but do not wipe pan clean. Add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil to pan and place onions in pan. Saute over medium heat for several minutes, stirring once in a while. Add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add red wine vinegar and cook for 2 more minutes.

Add beet stems and 1/4 cup water, cover and cook for about 10 minutes. Add beet greens and return pancetta to pan. Cook, covered for about 10 more minutes. Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and continue on with the sauce.

Add half of the pine nuts to the sauce and stir. Season with salt and pepper, keeping in mind that the pancetta is salty. Turn off heat.
Remove skins from beets by either peeling them off or taking a small sharp knife and removing them. Slice into quarters.

Remove pasta from pot with a strainer and add to the saute pan with the sauce. Also add about 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Thoroughly mix the greens and pasta together until pasta is nicely covered with the sauce.

Transfer the pasta and sauce to a serving bowl or platter. Arrange beet quarters around dish and sprinkle them with sea salt. Top pasta with remaining pine nuts.

 

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Reader Comments (12)

yummy yummy - i love beets! Your photography looks so amazing too!

August 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGaby

Its really yummy...........
Good post.....
Great Blog.....
Every one should read this ....
thanks for sharin with us......

________________
DyanaDevis
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Online Marketing of your brand

August 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdyana

this looks so colorful and delicious!

Red beets stain the pasta try using yellow - good receipe

August 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

A gorgeous dish. I've only made beets once and it was messy, but I do love them.

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterARLENE

This is great. I love beets but for some reason I never thought of using them with pasta.

I love pickled beets - here's my recipe
http://www.edibleusable.com/2009/08/pickled-beets.html

August 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKim (Edible/Usable)

Hi Elaine,

I sent you a tweet today about submitting your photo from this post to my new site: TasteStopping. It is a site for food photos that have been rejected by TS and FG, and helps foodies find photos and recipes they might otherwise have missed.

I hope you will swing by and check it out. It's a lot of fun. Better yet, consider submitting!

Best,
Casey
Editor
www.tastestopping.wordpress.com

August 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTasteStopping

Your blog is beautiful - very inspiring! I just made the plum tart for an earlier post - due out of the oven in about 15 minutes!

August 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Hello,

We bumped into your blog and we really liked it - great recipes YUM YUM.
We would like to add it to the Petitchef.com.

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petitchef.com

August 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercamelia

Thanks for sharing nice recipe. I definitely going to try this. Its mouthwatering recipe.
Its a great combination of pine nuts, onion and pasta.

October 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercables

I've been floating around your blog for a while tonight. So many things are capturing my attention. But when I see pine nuts, greens and beets. I stand up.

October 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAngela@spinachtiger

This is an interesting dish and unusual. I am writing a post on beets and discovered your recipe in my research. Question: how do you keep the beets from turning the pasta red?

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJovina Coughlin

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