Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Beet Pesto Pasta

In Week #2 of our CSA, we got 3 giant beets.
I had never had a beet before and was a little nervous about it.
I found this recipe on Pinterest, and adapted it to what I had in my house.
It (surprisingly!) turned out pretty earthy, but also pretty good and I actually enjoyed eating beets.
I have a sneaking suspicion that as the flavors meld in the fridge overnight that it will be even better tomorrow...which is good because I made a whole lot of pasta!
yield: 10 hearty helpings

2 - 16oz packages of bucatini pasta
3 BIG beets
6 cloves garlic, minced
1C sliced almonds
1/2C lemon juice
6 tbs extra virgin olive oil
3/4C grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2C grated sharp Provolone cheese

  1. to cook beets: bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add unpeeled, but trimmed, beets to water and boil for 15-20 minutes until tender.
  3. Drain and rinse with cool water.
  4. Use your fingers to rub off and discard the skins (and your fingers will turn purple), use a peeler or knife if you are having difficulty.
  5. to cook pasta: bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat.
  6. Add pasta and cook according to package directions.
  7. to make pesto: while the pasta is cooking, cut beets into quarters and place in a food processor (I used my Vitamix).
  8. Add the garlic and almonds, then add lemon juice.
  9. Pulse until well combined; then, while the motor is running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream to form a spread-like pesto. 
  10. Transfer pesto to a large bowl and mix in cheese.
  11. Taste, and add salt if needed (I didn't do this because I don't tend to add salt to my food but definitely add salt if that's up your alley).
  12. Drain pasta and rinse with cool water and drain again.
  13. Toss pasta with pesto until well incorporated.
  14. Top with extra cheese, almonds, or garlic salt if desired.
  15. Enjoy!

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