Friday, April 4, 2014

Pasta with Beet Pesto

Pasta with Beet Pesto

This dish is worth making for the color alone. The purple beets turn the pasta a beautiful deep magenta. To make it pop, I garnished the dish with fresh green parsley and white shreds of ricotta salata cheese. The best part: it tastes as good as it looks.

This recipe is based on food writer Jenna Weber's Beet Pesto Pasta from her Eat, Live, Run blog. Jenna used pistachios in her recipe, but I swapped them out for walnuts, which are easier to find shelled and also partner well with beets (beets, walnuts and goat cheese are, after all, a classic trio).

Beet Pesto Pasta
Adapted from Beet Pesto Pasta, Eat, Live, Run

3 large beets, tops trimmed off
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup walnuts (original recipe used shelled pistachios)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano
1 lb. spaghetti
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 oz. grated ricotta salata cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1. Bring a medium pot (4 quart) of water to boil. Add the beets and boil until for tender, about 25 to 35 minutes, depending on the size of the beets (test with a fork and remove with the beets are tender).

2. Peel the beets. The skins should slip off pretty easy; a paring knife will help. Be careful, they're hot. If you're in a hurry and don't want to wait for them to cool down, peel them in the sink under running cold water. Chop the beets into quarters.

3. Combine the cooked beets, garlic, walnuts and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times until evenly chopped. Scrape down the sides with a spatula. Put the lid back on and turn on the food processor. Slowly stream the olive oil through the feed tube. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in the grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese.

4. Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water according to package directions for al dente. Drain pasta and return to the pot. Stir in the beet pesto and stir with a large spoon until the noodles are evenly coated. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve topped with grated ricotta salata cheese and chopped fresh parsley.


  1. Wow! This looks and I bet tastes amazing. I'm going to try this with the pistachios since they are readily available shelled now. I never would have thought of this combo. Awesome!

    1. Thanks KC! It's a great recipe. Very easy. Just takes a little time to cook the beets.

  2. This was delicious. Let's have it again!