Beet Pasta

So I’m back to the grind, away from my happy temporary travels.  Meaning, I don’t have much to blog about, because I do little and have even less to say about it.  So today I will talk about beets.

I don’t feel I have to justify liking beets.  Roasted beets are awesome.  Yes, the red gets everywhere, but that’s what red does.  A salad with roasted beets, goat cheese, olive oil, and arugula or beet greens, and maybe corn, will always work.  The following ‘beet pasta’ is basically that dish in pasta form.

Maybe you are getting really excited by the title thinking I made pasta noodles from the vegetable itself.  Calm down.  This is just pasta with a beet sauce.  I got the idea from listening to KCRW’s Good Food on my way back to the states.  A woman named Samantha Barnes had a beet pasta recipe that was supposedly to get kids to eat healthily.  I pretty much followed the recipe, but omitted the ricotta and Parmesan cheese and the poppy seeds.  Instead I added goat cheese at the end.  I also used olive oil instead of butter, in which I cooked the beet greens, because it’s economical, though arugula would be a good choice.  I also added corn and tomato.  I like what I know.  I’m going to go ahead and suggest you add fennel seeds and parsley on top.  All vegetables were from the farmer’s market and cheese from Say Cheese, because I felt like Ina Garten for a week.

Beet Pasta

3 medium beets, washed with greens removed

1 tomato

1 shallot

2 stalks (cobs?) of corn (corn removed, obvs)

1.5 cups chopped beet greens and/or arugula.

6 Tbsp-ish olive oil

Zest and juice of one lemon
2 dry cups Cavatappi pasta, or whatever kind you like

1 Tbsp fennel seeds

1 handful Walnuts
¾ cup goat cheese
Salt to taste.  And pepper also I guess, though I’ve never understood why this is a seasoning.

1. Cook the beats.  To roast them, wrap in foil with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, (and pepper), and roast at 400º for about 1 hour.  Allow beets to cool, then remove skins and quarter them.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta according to box directions.

meanwhile…

3.  Put beets in a food processor, and pulse them until shredded.  Add the tomato, lemon zest, half of the lemon juice, salt (and pepper) to taste, and 2tbs olive oil, or less.  Pulse again to combine.

4. In a cast iron skillet, or whatever else you use, toast the fennel seeds for like 30 sec and remove.  Set aside. Add the walnuts and toast for 2-3 minutes, while stirring, then remove and roughly chop.  Add 2tbs olive oil, or less, and add the shallot and a pinch of salt.  Cook over medium heat, until translucent or so.  If you saved the stems of the beet greens, add those now and cook for 2-3 minutes.

5. Turn heat to medium-high.  Add corn and cook for two minutes.  Add greens and cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.  Or don’t stir, but then you’ll just have to sit there and watch.

6. Add the beet mixture to your pan and stir to combine.  At this point you may find that the sauce is too thick.  So add some more water (pasta water, if you have it) until it’s how you like it.  You may also want to add the juice from the other half of the lemon (or more) or olive oil or butter here.  Just depends on how crazy you are.  But it will probably need more lemon, and plus you have the half of it left over from earlier in the recipe, so, sure, go ahead and add that.  I think I added a fair amount of water until it was thin enough for my liking.  Season to taste etc etc.

7.  Add pasta and cook for 30 seconds or so.  Add the toasted fennel seeds.  To finish tear the goat cheese into pieces and add on top (or when you serve it (to yourself – why does every recipe assume you have a million friends who are over for dinner parties every night and you have to impress them with how your food looks.  I want to eat while watching food network.  BY MYSELF.  Is there something wrong with that?  Is Jonathan Franzen the secret editor of all cook books?)).  Also remember to add the chopped walnuts.

8.  Is that too many things to add?  You can omit anything.  Really the important things are just the beets and the pasta.

The end!  Oh and the goat cheese that I used happened to be humboldt fog, which is now forever associated with this song in my mind:

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duck of the week: canary-coalmine-comrades

I come back from London all optimistic and this is what I see:

What did Jon, Pedro, Sammy, Henrietta, Vlad, and Annie do to deserve this?  Nothing, that’s what.  As go the ducks, so goes society.

Also I miss Guzzi

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