Whole-Beet Pasta Sauce

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Click To Enlarge Photo: Boyd Hagen

1/2 cup pine nuts
1 lb. beet greens (or chard or spinach)
1 orange
1 lime
1 lb. fettuccine or linguine
1/2 cup olive oil
1 Tbs. chopped garlic
2 large or 4 medium roasted beets, cut into 1/2-in. cubes
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 oz. feta or Gorgonzola cheese

4 servings

Toast the pine nuts in a 350°F oven for 10 min. or until light brown. Cool.

Wash the greens thoroughly. If the leaves are young and tender, they can be used whole. If they’re large, remove the stems and chop the leaves coarse.

Juice the orange and the lime into a measuring cup; you should have about 1⁄2 cup of juice. Save the rinds.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. If you’re using fresh pasta, which needs to boil for only a minute or two, prepare the sauce before you cook the pasta.

In a very large sauté pan or Dutch oven, heat the oil and the garlic over a medium flame just until the garlic starts to color. Add the beets and citrus juice, and season with two large pinches of salt and some pepper. Boil until the liquid is reduced by about half. Add the greens and toss. If the sauce needs more zing, grate just a bit of orange and lime peel into it and stir.

Drain the pasta, add it to the sauce along with most of the pine nuts, and stir. Serve on warm plates with the extra pine nuts and half the cheese crumbled on top. Pass the rest of the cheese at the table.

Recipe by Cyndi Ross
August 1997
from issue #10

posted in: beets, pasta, main dish