Be my Valentine ❤️ Pasta. Impress your Galentine or Valentine with this delicious and colorful pasta dish. Serve with a salad and some red wine for the perfect date night in. I used beets instead of traditional basil to make pesto, which gives it that vibrant color.
I used ready to eat beets from Melissa’s Produce which is so convenient as I didn’t have to cook or peel the beets, along with Early Harvest Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Garcia de la Cruz Olive Oil.
Here are some options:
To make it vegan, use nutritional yeast instead of cheese
For added citrus flavor, add lemon juice
Top with goat cheese
Use almonds, walnuts or cashews as pine nuts can be expensive
If you purchased uncooked beets there are 2 ways to cook beets.
Roast: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Trim off the top and bottom and peel with a vegetable peeler. Cut into chunks and place on the baking sheet. Toss with some olive oil and roast for 35 to 40 minutes or until beets are tender, turning over with a spatula halfway.
If you prefer not to peel/cut the beets- Drizzle with olive oil and wrap each whole beet individually in foil. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast for 45-60 minutes or until fork tender. Remove foil and allow to cool before peeling the skin using rubber gloves or paper towels.
Boil: Rinse beets and add to a saucepan. Add enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until fork tender. ( Total time will depend on the size of beets). Drain and rinse beets with cold water. Using rubber gloves or paper towels, rub the skins off the beets.
Make sure you wear gloves or use a paper towel to remove the skin as you may get red stains on your fingers / nails and also, don’t use a white cutting board.
Beet Pesto Pasta
1lb spaghetti (or any pasta)
2-3 cooked and peeled red beets, cut ( I used 5 of Melissa’s baby beets)
2 garlic cloves
1/4- 1/2 cup nuts (pine nuts, almonds, walnuts, etc)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Optional garnish: cheese, herbs or nuts
Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions for al dente.
Meanwhile, make the pesto: Into a food processor, add beets, garlic, nuts, parmesan cheese and pulse until mixed. Add olive oil ( start with 1/4 cup) and pulse until you get a pesto like consistency, adding more oil as needed. Add salt and pepper to taste.
When pasta is done, reserve some of the pasta water and drain.
Return to the stove and turn on the heat. Add 1/2 of reserved pasta water and pesto and mix together. Stir in remaining pesto and pasta water, as needed to get desired consistency and color. Stir in optional cheese.
Transfer to serving platter and top with optional garnish.