Yesterday I was catching up on my podcasts and listened to the July 11th episode of The Splendid Table. I was still mulling over what to do with most of the veggies in my fridge, lucky for me beets were talked about twice in that episode. First several beet ideas were given during the conversation with Sally Schneider, who wrote The Improvisational Cook, and then a caller question concerning beets and radishes. At one point eating beets with their greens and pasta was mentioned, and this idea stuck with me. Of course this was the recipe least covered during the podcast and not given in the episode notes online. So today I looked on Epicurious, Food Network, Allrecipes, Martha Stewart (.com) and Vegetarian Times to see what recipes I could find and then I winged it when none were quite what I felt like making (noting to include rosemary, garlic and goat cheese). I decided to make a bit more pasta than usual since this would be a single entree meal and my past measurements of short pasta have been off when figuring out the right serving size.
Pink & Green Pasta
- 6 oz short pasta
- 1 bunch beets with greens
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 1 small sprig rosemary (it was about 1/2 t minced)
- 2 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Cut off the beets (I actually used 3 beets and saved one for another dish) from their greens, leaving about one to two inches of stem, wrap beets in aluminum foil and place in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes. At 30 minutes test by poking with a knife or fork, if the knife slips in easily the beets are done, otherwise leave in the oven longer.
Put a big pot of water on to boil and cook your pasta. Remember to save 1/4 cup of pasta water before you drain the cooked pasta (don’t rinse the pasta with cool water).
While the pasta cooks wash the beet greens well and separate the tough stems from the green leaves. Shake the water off the leaves but don’t worry about getting them completely dry. Chop up the stems and set aside. Cut the greens into ribbons and set aside. Mince the rosemary and garlic. In large skillet heat the oil and then saute the beet stems with the rosemary until tender. Add the garlic and stir until it is fragrant and add the beet greens and a pinch of salt. Cover and let it wilt, stirring a few times. Turn the heat low until the pasta is done. Peel and chop the roasted beets into bite size pieces.
Add the drained pasta to the pan with the cooked greens, then add the crumbled goat cheese on top that and toss to combine. The cheese should get nice and melty. Add a bit of your reserved pasta water if needed (I used about 1 tablespoon of pasta water) and then add the beets.